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For Immediate Release: April 30, 2021

Contact: Patrick Nevada,, 646.866.9065

STATEMENT: Pressure Rises on Gov. Cuomo to Sign NY HERO Act as Support For Bill Grows

“We must protect workers and instill consumer confidence to reopen safely and avoid shutdowns”

NEW YORK, NY – As pressure ramps up for Gov. Cuomo to sign the NY HERO Act into law, ALIGN-NY Executive Director Maritza Silva-Farrell issued the following statement on behalf of the NY Essential Workers Coalition: 

Support for the common-sense and bipartisan NY HERO Act is growing by the day. The Albany Times Union, Newsday, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer all endorsed the legislation in the past few days. The need for the legislation is still urgent. More than 250,000 workers have already contracted symptomatic COVID-19, and, in just the six days since the NY HERO Act reached Governor Cuomo’s desk, 378 New Yorkers have died of the virus. As we reopen our economy, more and more New Yorkers are going back to work, while new variants are appearing and the virus is still spreading. We must protect workers and instill consumer confidence to reopen safely and avoid shutdowns. Governor Cuomo must sign and implement the NY HERO Act immediately without changes. Enforceable workplace standards can mean the difference between life and death. The NY HERO Act would be the first state law in the country to create a permanent enforceable Airborne disease workplace standard to protect our heroes. Governor Cuomo has called essential worker heroes. To truly honor these heroes he must enact the protections that they have been demanding for over a year and sign the NY HERO Act now.

This week, a host of allies came out in support of the bill, which has overwhelmingly passed both the Assembly and State Senate with bipartisan support and now awaits Gov. Cuomo’s signature:

  • On Tuesday, more than a dozen of the state’s largest unions sent a letter to Gov. Cuomo, calling on him to sign the bill immediately, citing the spread of new COVID-19 variants in New York that could put more workers at risk as the state reopens. 


  • On Wednesday, workers representing industries whose workers have been most exposed to the spread of the virus delivered a letter to Gov. Cuomo at his NYC office calling on him to immediately sign the legislation.


  • On Thursday, Amazon workers and community allies held a press conference at a Long Island City warehouse facility in Long Island City to release a new report showing how Amazon workers would benefit from the bill.


  • Also on Thursday, Sen. Chuck Schumer tweeted in support of the legislation, saying, “Essential workers continue to risk their lives to lead us through COVID. We must protect these heroes to safely reopen our economy.”

If passed into law, the NY HERO Act will be the first law in the country to mandate permanent standards to guard against airborne infectious diseases in the workplace. The legislation directs the state Department of Labor to put in place lasting new protections, including protocols around face masks, PPE, social distancing, and airflow. It also gives workers a stronger say in the enforcement of those standards through workplace Health and Safety Committees.

The campaign for the NY HERO Act has been led by the NY Essential Workers Coalition, a statewide group made up of over 75 unions, worker centers, immigrant rights organizations, legal service providers, health and safety organizations, and community-based organizations. More than 100 community and labor organizations have backed the legislation.