Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Carolyn Bobb (202) 637-5018

Press Release

Congress Must Pass Pro-Worker Puerto Rico Debt Legislation

Factsheet: Union Recommendations on Amendments to PROMESA
WASHINGTON -

On a conference call today, union and faith advocates for the people of Puerto Rico discussed ways Congress can do its job and help end the humanitarian and fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico.

The AFL-CIO, AFSCME, UAW, UFCW and SEIU represent more than 50,000 working people in Puerto Rico. The groups are working together to provide solutions to protect the working families of Puerto Rico. The call emphasized the need to improve H.R. 4900, the “Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stabilization Act” (PROMESA).

“Wall Street investors and their high-paid lobbyists are blocking legislation that would allow Puerto Rico to pursue an orderly debt restructuring,” said Heather Slavkin Corzo, AFL-CIO Director of Office of Investment. “Their claims that giving Puerto Rico the ability to restructure its debt amounts to a bailout is absurd. Failing to give Puerto Rico the same rights to restructure its debt that businesses and other municipal governments have would be a bailout for bondholders.”

 “One thing that’s abundantly clear is that teachers, public safety officers and other workers and retirees did not cause the crisis in Puerto Rico,” said Bailey Childers, National Public Pension Coalition Executive Director. “The U.S. Congress must allow Puerto Rico to protect public pensions so we do not throw hundreds of thousands of the island’s residents into poverty upon retirement.”

This crisis affects not only those nearing retirement, it also impacts the islands’ youngest residents. Fifty-seven percent of the children in Puerto Rico live in poverty.

"In Puerto Rico education, health care and law enforcement have been cut to pay‎ the debt. When debt has a human cost, debt payments are too much," said Eric LeCompte, Jubilee USA Network Executive Director. "There can be no economic growth on the island until the debt is brought back to payable levels."

###

AFL-CIO Logo

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) works tirelessly to improve the lives of working people. We are the democratic, voluntary federation of 56 national and international labor unions that represent 12.5 million working men and women.

27 Groups Urge Congress to Close FBI 'Backdoor Search' Loophole

"Ending this unconstitutional practice is imperative to ensure that foreign intelligence surveillance does not swallow Americans' privacy rights."

Brett Wilkins ·



300+ Civil Society Groups Counter-Mobilize Against UN Food Systems Summit

"Repeating the agri-business-as-usual model to solve the food and climate crisis cannot deliver on the holistic and systemic transformation of our food systems we need today."

Kenny Stancil ·


House Dems Ask ExxonMobil Lobbyist to Testify About Climate Misinformation

"For decades, the fossil fuel industry and its allies have used the same tactics as the tobacco industry to spread denial and doubt about the harm of its products," the letter states.

Brett Wilkins ·


Donziger Slams Criminal Contempt Ruling as 'Message of Intimidation' to Human Rights Lawyers

"The United States has now become one of those countries where environmental advocates are attacked, put in jail, or even murdered for doing their jobs successfully."

Jake Johnson ·