We are at a moment of extreme crisis. Our nation’s workers have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 33 million Americans have filed for unemployment.


There is a way to rebuild ourselves during this extraordinary moment in modern history, laid out in the AFL-CIO’s Five Economic Essentials. I implore you and your readers to consider these five factors in how we view economic recovery and growth after this pandemic.


First and foremost is keeping workers safe. For months, front-line workers have risked their lives to go to work without proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and hazard pay. We must make sure those who take care of us are protected.


Second: Protect pension checks and keep workers employed. A pension is a promise an employer makes, one that’s upheld after their employee puts in decades of work for the guarantee of security in retirement.


Third, we must keep state and local governments, our public schools and the U.S. Postal Service solvent and working. It goes without saying these public services are crucial to our recovery.


Fourth, we need to protect and expand health insurance for all workers, including a 100% federal payment support for COBRA extensions.


And last but not least, we must keep America competitive by hiring people to build infrastructure, an investment that would create millions of jobs and stimulate the economy.


Andy Sanchez, Tony Spicer and John Nave, Kansas AFL-CIO officers