Press: Olympia hearing reinforces importance of Unemployment Insurance ‘lifeline’

Jul 30 2012

By Teresa Mosqueda and Rebecca Johnson
From The Stand

On Monday, July 23, Rep. Mike Sells (D-Everett) and Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle) held a Joint Committee work session on this decade’s epidemic: unemployment.

The Washington State Labor Council shared our video of workers’ stories about searching for work and the impact being unemployed has had on their lives and their families.

University of Washington Professor Dr. James Gregory commended the committee for “breaking the Great Silence” of unemployed workers whose voices have been largely ignored by federal lawmakers and mainstream media.  Click here and here to see and hear additional video testimony from unemployed workers in Washington discussing how important the Unemployment Insurance safety net is to our families and our economy.

The workers who came to the hearing spoke for so many who could not be there: Unemployment Insurance is a true lifeline. Unemployment benefits go right back into local communities. Families rely on this UI for groceries, rent, transportation — essentials that literally keep people alive while searching for work. And in their voices, we heard the psychological and emotional toll of struggling to keep their families together. As one worker said, “Love goes out the window when you can’t put food on your family’s table.”