A prominent union of autoworkers demanded Congress address the Flint water crisis Thursday, just days after opposing a bill that would transfer auto industry subsidies to help resolve the crisis.
Lawmakers proposed legislation Feb. 24 that would transfer $250 million in recession-era autoworker subsidies to help Flint, Mich. The city has been plagued with contaminated drinking water that has reportedly caused a range of injuries and problems. The United Auto Workers (UAW) is now demanding congress do something to help despite opposing the proposed legalization.
“Congress must declare Flint a major disaster so that FEMA can respond quickly and disperse much-needed federal aid just as it has in the case of previous disasters,” a union press release stated. “Congress must also pass a comprehensive package to help the victims and fix the infrastructure so residents have safe water.”
The corrosive nature of local drinking water caused lead from pipes get into the water supply. The congressional proposal has bipartisan support and could fully fund a recovery effort but the union argued in a letter Monday it would cost jobs.
The autoworker subsidies were originally designed to help the industry keep and create jobs in response to the recent recession. The UAW has otherwise supported those who were impact by the situation. It has held rallies to show solidarity with the victims of the crisis and has demanded lawmakers be held accountable for what happened.
The UAW did not respond to a request for comment by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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