On May 7, 2020, Ntebo Mokuena, digital campaign manager of Daily Kos posted the above photo on Twitter saying: “Today, I took action with @charlieyj12 @nathanypark @greenpeaceusa @dailykos and thousands of community members across the country demanding the House pass the Essential Worker Bill of Rights. Join me in calling on the House to #ProtectEssentialWorkers” Photo credit: Tim Aubry, visual communications director, Greenpeace.

Whether they are healthcare workers, bus drivers, janitors, factory workers, or firefighters, people who are declared “essential workers” and are therefore required to go to work in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic face many of the same threats. Demands from these workers have been synthesized into an Essential Worker Bill of Rights that has been endorsed by labor organizations including Service Employees International Union, the American Federation of Teachers, and the National Domestic Workers Alliance; environmental and climate groups like the Sunrise Movement, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Oil Change International; and many other progressive groups including MoveOn and Daily Kos.

The Labor Network for Sustainability has helped coordinate a campaign by labor, environmental, and climate justice organizations that helped win the incorporation of many elements of the Essential Worker Bill of Rights in the HEROES Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives May 15 and now facing a battle royale in the Senate.

As COVID-19 spreads across the nation, our nurses, healthcare professionals, public employees, teachers, school staff and many others are trying to keep us alive and healthy under extraordinary and unimaginable circumstances. They are our heroes and heroines.

Want to learn more and take action? Here are a couple of resources: