Corporate Immunity Is a Dealbreaker, an Attack on Workers

CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY, NOT IMMUNITY

Welcome to the latest edition of “Corporate Accountability, Not Immunity,” a daily tipsheet highlighting key news and important facts on why Congress should not give corporations legal immunity from coronavirus-related harms to workers, consumers, patients and the public. Also refer to our tipsheet on misleading claims from industry groups and conservative lawmakers. Please send tips, feedback and questions to David Rosen at drosen@citizen.org.

SCHUMER CALLS IMMUNITY PROPOSAL A GIANT CORPORATE GIVEAWAY: U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) addressed U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) corporate immunity proposal in floor remarks on Wednesday. “With all due respect to the Republican leader, Americans on the brink of eviction are not crying out for a sweeping corporate liability shield,” Schumer said. “No one should be willing to torpedo all the relief Americans are counting on unless there’s a giant corporate giveaway attached.”

MCCONNELL’S CORPORATE IMMUNITY PROPOSAL IS A DEALBREAKER: The GOP’s corporate immunity proposal is shaping up to be a dealbreaker in negotiations over the next coronavirus response package. “I think the whole idea is preposterous,” said U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), a member of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over the issue. “This is a fake [issue] because there is not a business reopening problem from fear of liability. We’ve witnessed that over the last months, so the supposed need for it is imaginary. The proposal is so ridiculously excessive that it really doesn’t provide an opening point for negotiations.”

CORPORATE IMMUNITY IS AN ATTACK ON WORKERS: “Republicans are proposing to eviscerate almost all workplace protections at the moment when the threat to workers’ health may be its highest in a century,” Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Hiltzik wrote in the Los Angeles Times. “So let’s not pretend that the Republicans have the welfare or health of working Americans at heart. They may talk about the virtues of work and the need to get workers back on the job for their own health and that of the economy. The ‘SAFE AT WORK Act’ proves with every line that they’re lying. Democrats on Capitol Hill should draw their own red line against it, and not budge an inch.”