Mon. 3/23/20: COVID-19 Daily Update
NEW UNEMPLOYMENT WEBSITE URL
Great News! DLIR created a separate website URL just for Local 5 members to file for unemployment. If you are having difficulty with the DLIR website, try going to this exclusive website. This will be a much faster process to file your initial claim. To get the website link, please text UNEMPLOYMENT to 877-877.
For complete instructions on how to file for unemployment, check out our webpage.
TELL CONGRESS: PUT WORKERS FIRST!
Thousands of workers—not just billionaire companies—need cash in their pockets RIGHT NOW.
Email your member of Congress today to tell them to put workers first. Tell them that you do NOT support any COVID-19 bailout package for the rich that does not:
- Greatly expand unemployment insurance
- Extend workers’ health insurance coverage
- Require companies to pay emergency sick-pay to workers affected by the virus
- Guarantee family and medical leave
- Maintain funding for nutrition programs like food stamps and WIC
- Provide emergency rent and mortgage relief for workers who have been laid-off
Click here to email your member of Congress to tell them to put workers first.
To face ‘unprecedented’ virus threat, Ige issues statewide stay-at-home order (Hawaii News Now, March 23, 2020)
Governor Ige has ordered a statewide stay at home order effective at 12:01am on Wednesday, March 25 until Thursday, April 30. The State order can be viewed here. The governor said discrepancies between the state and county orders would be ironed out in the days ahead, and that there will be process for businesses to seek “essential” status. Ige’s Facebook video press conference can be viewed here. The State says HI state tax filing deadline is automatically extended until July 20, 2020. The federal tax filing deadline was already extended until July 15, 2020.
The Kahala Hotel & Resort temporarily suspends operations to prevent COVID-19 spread (KHON2, March 23, 2020)
The closure is effective March 24 to May 1. All in-house guests will be given the option to stay through their scheduled check-out date or depart the resort without penalty. Upcoming reservations from March 24 to May 1 will be canceled. Reservations for new arrivals will be accepted online starting May 1.
Starbucks Is Paying All Workers for the Next 30 Days, Even If They Choose to Stay Home (Men’s Health, March 22, 2020)
Local 5 represents Starbucks workers at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and Ala Moana Hotel, as well as HMS Host Starbucks workers at Honolulu Airport, Lihue Airport, and Kahului Airport. We have not received any word from these employers about whether Starbucks workers in the hotels or airports will be paid for the next 30 days, even if they choose to stay at home.
Why should these Starbucks workers be treated any differently? Why aren’t HMS Host and hotel Starbucks guaranteeing that their workers get paid amidst this pandemic? Why aren’t all employers stepping up and paying workers during this crisis?
U.S. Domestic Passenger Flights Could Virtually Shut Down, Voluntarily or by Government Order (Wall Street Journal, March 23, 2020)
It appears the airline industry is close to or preparing for a virtual shut down of domestic passenger flights.
House Democrats introduce a $2.5 trillion coronavirus stimulus plan as Senate bill stalls (CNBC, March 23, 2020)
After Democrats blocked the Republican Senate’s corporate bailout bill, the US House is offering its own worker-oriented bill. A $2.5 trillion bill, it will have:
- Direct payments to individuals of $1,500 and up to $7,500 for a family of five
- No cost-sharing for coronavirus vaccines and treatments, including for the uninsured.
- Expanded access to paid family and medical leave
- $500 billion in grants and interest-free loans to small businesses
- Strengthened unemployment insurance, with $600 per week for people affected by coronavirus and eligible for unemployment benefits
- $150 billion in funding for hospitals, community health centers and government health programs
- $60 billion in funding for schools and universities along with student debt relief.
- More funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other food assistance programs.
- $4 billion in state election grants and a national requirement for 15 days of early voting and no-excuse absentee voting as fears grow about coronavirus spreading at crowded polling sites
House Democrats unveil bill to cancel $30,000 in student debt per borrower amid coronavirus (Yahoo.com, March 23, 2020)
It’s unclear what the bill’s chances are. The article notes that Department of Education has officially offered two options for borrowers at present: 1) The department has dropped interest rates on student loans automatically to 0% for at least the next 60 days, and 2) those who are having real difficulty with their loans can request interest-free forbearance from their service for at least two months—and require no documentation to receive it. Additionally, if borrowers are more than 31 days delinquent on their federal loans as of March 13, their payments are now suspended. According to ED, more than 3.2 million federal student loans are more than 31 days delinquent. 7.7 million are in default.
Local Kauai utility companies suspend shut offs, close walk-in centers (Pacific Business News, March 23, 2020)
Kauai Island Utility Cooperative has suspended service disconnections for a 30-day period. The suspension of service disconnection will apply to both residential and commercial customers until April 17, 2020. Regular bill payments, however, have not been waived. KIUC urges customers to make payments via phone, mail, internet and email; walk-in payment is not available.
Hawaii Confirmed Cases as of 12pm on Monday, 3/23/2020 (Hawaii Department of Health):
Oahu = 53
Hawaii = 5
Kauai = 3
Maui = 11
Unknown = 5
4 are hospitalized