Colorado Workers & Veterans “Demand Answers” As Gardner Fails to Deliver COVID Relief, Takes Another Vacation
JBS Meatpacking Plant Employees: “Colorado Senator Cory Gardner[’s]…failure to deliver on the promised COVID-19 tests put workers and the public at risk”
AFL-CIO Veterans: “Because of the inaction of the Senate… more of our tremendous vets who fought and bled for our country may go homeless”
Denver, CO – Coloradans are demanding answers after Senator Cory Gardner failed to deliver additional COVID relief. Yesterday, two major Colorado unions decried Gardner’s inaction and broken promises as 330,000 Coloradans go without emergency unemployment benefits they’ve relied on.
Workers at the JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley sharply criticized Gardner for failing to deliver COVID tests that he and Vice President Mike Pence promised employees in March. Gardner bragged about securing them, but all of the workers never got tested.
Kim Cordova, who represents more than 3,000 workers at the JBS plant, slammed Gardner, saying he “talks big but acts small” or not at all:
“Our members, and frankly all Coloradoans, are tired of the broken promises from Senator Gardner. Nearly 100 days ago, Gardner touted an agreement with Vice President Pence to secure COVID-19 tests, but has since stayed silent as our members call for increased safety measures and enforceable laws to protect them as they risk their lives just going to work.
“In the months since his apparent testing victory, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has confirmed more than 300 positive cases and six of our members have paid the ultimate price of COVID-19: their lives. Time and again these workers are labeled essential, but are treated as disposable. We have come to expect this rhetoric from JBS, but we expect more from our elected leaders. Senator Gardner talks big but acts small — and where workers are concerned – doesn’t act at all.
“It’s time Senator Gardner protects his constituents and not the companies that are putting profits ahead of our people’s lives. So, Cory, where are the tests?”
Simultaneously, Veterans and Colorado workers with the AFL-CIO protested outside Gardner’s office demanding that he restore emergency unemployment insurance and pass aid to state and local governments. The veterans said that “because of the inaction of the Senate… more of our tremendous vets who fought and bled for our country may go homeless” and delivered a letter to Gardner calling on him to get back to work on relief.
Gardner is now taking his third vacation — after several long weekends and months of inaction — since he said 83 days ago that it would be “unfathomable” for Congress to go home without passing further COVID relief.