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Labor Unions Push for Changes to House Puerto Rico Bill

The AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union and the United Auto Workers are among U.S. labor unions calling for changes to a House bill designed to address Puerto Rico’s debt crisis.

The groups say H.R. 4900 doesn’t do enough to protect workers on the island or to ensure a balanced fiscal control board. Instead, they proposed three amendments that would: protecting pensioners; tamp down a fiscal control board’s power; and avoid scaled back minimum wage or overtime laws.

“Currently, the bill does not protect accrued pension benefits and gives them inferior status to other creditors. This must be reversed,” the groups said in a fact sheet. “This will preserve critical income for pensioners, who necessarily spend this immediately in the local economy.”

They also called for the legislation to include restructuring provisions that apply to all classes of debt and a “meaningful” stay on debt litigation.