Arlington, VA (March 17, 2020) – The Air Conditioning Contractors of America announces its urgency to push Congress and President Trump to expand support for HVACR contractors and treat HVACR contractors as essential service providers. ACCA is serving on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Task Force on Coronavirus Response and has helped craft recommendations for the federal government’s response to this global pandemic.
In a letter to President Trump, Vice President Pence, and congressional leaders, ACCA President and CEO, Barton James pushed for reconsideration of legislation that would mandate paid leave for workers impacted by Coronavirus. To best support workers and businesses, ACCA is requesting that the federal government take immediate action to encourage states to loosen restrictions on the ability to use unemployment benefits, and to provide additional funding to states that may experience shortfalls in unemployment benefits accounts.
In his letter, James states, “Unlike mandated paid leave, which contractors have not budgeted for, HVACR contractors have budgeted for unemployment insurance and have already paid into those accounts. Considering that unemployment has been at a historic low, those accounts should be well funded, and we believe that would enable HVACR contractors to survive some very challenging times.”
ACCA has also pushed for exemptions for HVACR contractors from mandates that require businesses to temporarily close or individuals to self-isolate. ACCA notes that HVACR professionals are essential to the health and well-being of the American people and the economy. In his letter, James also noted that, “HVACR contractors should be considered emergency service providers because they perform necessary, life-saving services on several components of our nation’s most critical infrastructure. This includes, but is not limited to, the healthcare industry, the agri-food supply chain, and essential heating, cooling, and refrigeration needs for vulnerable populations.”
To read ACCA’s letter to Congress and President Trump, click here.
For additional information, please contact Deb Weiner, ACCA Manager of Communications and Strategic Partnerships at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-824-8862.