Saturday, December 11, 2010

Jobless Workers Call on Congress to Take Action as One Million Americans Lose Unemployment Lifeline

Coloradans call on Congress to support working families in time of critical need
Denver-- Working families in Colorado held a round table today with Leadership of the Joint Budget Committee and representatives from the offices of Senator Bennet, Senator Udall, Congressman Perlmutter and Congresswoman DeGette. Participants also delivered hundreds of letters from Colorado residents calling on Congress to act immediately to restore the lifeline for the unemployed. As Republicans continue to block unemployment insurance to give tax breaks to millionaires, participants pointed to their own experiences trying to find work to show the real life consequences of allowing unemployment insurance to expire.

Fifteen million Americans are currently unemployed, including over 200,000 in Colorado. By the end of December, 2 million people will lose their unemployment insurance unless Congress acts.

Tony Roebuck, a jobless worker from Denver said, “My unemployment insurance ran out at the end of November and I don’t know what I’m going to do without it, especially in a hard-hit economy where there are no jobs. No one wants to be on unemployment…we’d all rather be back at work right now. But the jobs just aren’t there.”

Never before has Congress let unemployment benefits expire when this many people have been out of work. This week, the AFL-CIO released an online video detailing the struggles of the unemployed:

Colorado AFL-CIO President Dwayne Stephens said, “Time is running out for Congress to take action before there are more massive pains—and even homelessness—hits long-term job-seekers. Our society and our government must not ignore our friends, family and neighbors who are unemployed through no fault of their own.”