CENTRAL COAST, Calif, (KION) Essential workers across California are seeking support from American Rescue funds for their hard work during the pandemic.
Workers united through an online meeting to ask the Governor and Legislative leaders to dedicate $8B to essential workers.
“The question is not how much we talk about them, but how much we're going to award reward them for their extraordinary service and their sacrifice," said SEIU Government Relations Director, Tia Orr.
Maria Delgado is a Greenfield resident and also a farmworker. During the pandemic, she continued to work while others remained at home. Despite being scared of the virus, taking time off was not an
option because she had bills to pay, she said.
“We deserve it, anything would help especially during these difficult times," said Delgado. "We're taking it day by the day. So any help would be great.”
The Biden administration approved the use of funds for hazard pay. However, it has not been included in California's 227-billion dollar budget proposed.
“Take the opportunity to recognize the worker sacrifice and invest in their strength," said Orr. "It would be a real slap in the face to the folks you see on the call and their colleagues across the nation across the state of California because we did not prioritize at least a fraction of the ARA funds.”
Assembly Member Ash Kalra also joined the discussion to show his support.
“Not only is it the right thing to do in order to allow our workers to sustain themselves and one of the most expensive places to live in the nation," said Kalra. "Not only is it morally the correct thing to do, to show that we respect them for the work they do. This is also a retention measure, we need these jobs to be filled and continue to be filled.”