In the midst of a terrible jobs crisis, there are those in North Carolina who seek to cut assistance for those who have lost their jobs. That’s just plain wrong.
Currently, North Carolina’s Chamber of Commerce seeks to restrict unemployment benefits by reducing the maximum weekly income from $506 to $350. In addition to the monetary cut, the time allowed to receive benefits could be reduced from 26 weeks to 20 weeks.
These cuts will drastically affect North Carolinian families. With the state unemployment rate exceeding 9 percent for the past few months, restrictions on unemployment benefits is the last thing we need. Unemployment benefits greatly assist workers who lost jobs to no fault of their own. These benefits help workers stay afloat as they search for new jobs. The restriction of unemployment benefits will devastate hundreds of thousands of families who are actively looking for work.
The Greensboro Working America office has been actively fighting to keep unemployment benefits intact. Over the past few months, have canvassers gathered hand written letters from members to their legislators with personal statements about why unemployment benefits are crucial to sustaining families and encouraged legislators to not restrict these benefits:
“I’m writing this letter to ask you not to discontinue the unemployment benefits. My job was downsized due to sending jobs to Mexico. We need the benefits and the jobs.”
“I believe that it’s sad that the unemployment rate is so high. I have family members who have tried time after time to find a job to support their family.”
“I’ve been on unemployment myself and it helps out immensely in LOOKING for another job.”
“I understand the benefits of unemployment – as I have family members who depend on its benefits. We need to focus on more relevant issues such as education and keeping licensed teachers in the classroom”
Last week more than 400 letters were delivered to senators and representatives in Raleigh. All of the legislators were excited to receive the letters and encouraged to learn more about Working America’s presence in the Triad.
The letters delivered are an excellent start in maintaining NC’s unemployment benefits, but legislators need to hear more from constituents. Call or write your legislators, and tell them to keep unemployment benefits the way they are. Find out who represents you here.