Coronavirus prompts SJ congressman to propose new federal holiday
Burlington County Times
April 29, 2020
A South Jersey congressman plans to introduce legislation to create a new federal holiday honoring workers who died on the job.
U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross, D-1 of Camden, announced his intentions Tuesday to make April 28 — which is already commemorated by labor unions and other groups as Workers Memorial Day — the 11th federal holiday. He said doing so would be a fitting way to honor health care workers, first responders and others who have lost their lives during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“On Workers Memorial Day, we honor those who have lost their lives on the job, and today, our nation is facing both a grave public health emergency with many health care workers and first responders giving their lives to save others,” Norcross said. “Those American workers are heroes, and they deserve a federal holiday in their honor.”
More than 9,000 U.S. health care workers have become ill with COVID-19, and at least 27 workers have died, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report published earlier this month. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union has reported at least 30 supermarket employees have also died as a result of COVID-19.