Congresswoman Nikema Williams Introduces Legislation to Prevent Cancellation of Health Coverage for Striking Workers

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) co-led introduction of The Striking Workers Healthcare Protection Act, legislation that would require employers to continue providing health insurance to workers on strike. Congresswoman Cindy Axne (IA-03) led the introduction of the legislation, and additional co-leads included Representatives Steve Cohen (TN-09), Brian Higgins (NY-26), Andy Levin (MI-09), Jim McGovern (MA-02), Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), and Linda Sánchez (CA-38). In recent years, corporations have canceled or threatened to cancel health insurance for workers on strike – putting workers and their families at risk of paying for lifesaving treatments and care out of their own pocket while they exercise their right to strike. 

Congresswoman Williams said: 

“Healthcare is a human right, and it is reprehensible that any company would strip workers’ of healthcare during a lawful strike. I support this legislation for every worker in Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District who has gone on or will go on strike. I am proud to lead the introduction of this legislation with my fellow champion for working people, Congresswoman Cindy Axne.”

Congresswoman Axne said: 

“Exercising your right to fight for a better contract shouldn’t mean risking your ability to get lifesaving coverage for yourself or your family. This is a basic measure, one born of the unfortunate reality that employers use termination of health coverage to break strikes and force employees to accept a subpar contract. If a corporation claims to care about their workers, they should already be renouncing this cruel tactic – but we should update our laws to ensure we’re not just relying on companies to do the right thing.” 

Congressman Levin said: 

“Throughout my decades of union organizing, I have stood on countless picket lines and listened to the hopes and the fears of striking workers. I heard it firsthand during the UAW strike at GM in my district in 2019 and at many others: losing health insurance is a major concern for workers. It is also a tactic for employers to suppress the fundamental right to take collective action for workplace democracy.”

Congresswoman Sánchez said: 

“Cutting off striking workers’ health insurance strips them of their fundamental right to advocate for better conditions, makes our communities less safe, and puts American families at risk.  I am proud to stand with Rep. Axne and my colleagues in Congress to fight for the safety, well-being, and dignity of all workers.”

The Striking Workers Healthcare Protection Act is supported by: the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers (BCTGM), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Communications Workers of America (CWA), United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), International Association of Iron Workers (IW), and United Steelworkers (USW).

CONTACT: PressGA05@mail.house.gov

Congresswoman Nikema Williams proudly serves Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District. Congresswoman Williams serves on the exclusive Financial Services Committee where she is Vice Chair of the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and the Select Committee for the Modernization of Congress. She is Freshman Class President and Co-Chairs the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus. Congresswoman Williams builds on the Fifth District’s legacy as the cradle of the civil rights movement as a champion of voting rights, closing the racial wealth gap and ensuring the promise of America for all–regardless of their ZIP code or bank account.

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