WASHINGTON (AP) _ The AFL-CIO ran full-page ads Tuesday in 14 newspapers across the country to urge Congress to approve funds to help laid-off aviation workers.
``Don’t forget the working families of America,″ the ads urge Congress.
``We were the first to arrive and we’ll be the last to leave,″ the ads say. ``We fought the attackers, rescued the victims, treated the wounded. Now we’re burying the dead, counseling the survivors and cleaning up the wreckage.″
Organized labor is backing a bill by Sen. Jean Carnahan, D-Mo., that would provide nearly $2 billion in extended unemployment benefits, job training and health insurance coverage to aviation workers laid off after the Sept. 11 attacks.
The aviation industry has announced more than 100,000 layoffs related to the attacks. Congress approved a $15 billion aid package for the airlines.
The Senate could take up the measure this week if Democrats can get the relief package considered as part of an aviation security bill that went to the floor Tuesday.
The AFL-CIO ads appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and in newspapers in Colorado, Maine, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas.
Organized labor is targeting about a dozen Senate Republicans from states heavy with laid-off airline workers, said Bill Samuel, the AFL-CIO’s legislative director. He said Senate Democrats ``were pretty solid″ behind the measure.
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