Connect with us


Tell Congress to extend unemployment benefits now!

Nearly 2 million workers who have lost their jobs will lose their federal unemployment benefits if Congress fails to act on an extension by the end of the year. In 2012, an estimated 6 million U.S. workers struggling to find jobs will lose these essential benefits if Congress continues to focus on maintaining tax cuts for the 1% who crashed our economy rather than helping the 99% by extending unemployment insurance.

TAKE A STAND! — On Tuesday, more than 50 people “occupied” the D.C. office of U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert (R-8th) to urge him to support the unemployment benefits extension, among other things. This Thursday at 10 a.m., the M.L. King County Labor Council is urging union members and all advocates for unemployed workers to join them as they visit Rep. Reichert’s Mercer Island office, 2737 78th Ave. SE, to urge his support for the extension. (Similar actions are being organized by the AFL-CIO on Thursday across the country.)

Also, click here to sign an emergency petition to Congress urging support for the UI benefit extension.

A new report from the AFL-CIO gives a state-by-state breakdown of the tragic effect of the continuing jobless recession. According to the report, Washington state’s weekly unemployment benefit averages $359.26. This money, barely enough to get by, goes directly back into the economy covering the essentials and flowing to local grocery stores, gas stations and utilities.  According to the report, that means the loss in business to communities could total more than $12.6 million per week.

“Extending these benefits is a matter of survival for thousands of Washington families who are still looking for work during these depressed times,” said Jeff Johnson, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “Workers, businesses and our communities should not have to pay for the recklessness of Wall Street or the inability of Congress to extend these crucial benefits.”

Washington state’s official unemployment rate stands at 9%, but the report reveals a much harsher reality for African Americans whose unemployment rate is 21.1%, Latinos at 15.8% and young people between the ages of 20 to 24 years old at 17.3%.

Check out the report and see real stories from our communities — plus contribute your own — here.

For more information see:

Jobless workers tell Congress to extend UI (AFL-CIO Now)

Five myths about unemployment insurance (The Stand)

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!