Thursday, December 8, 2011

Action memo from Richard Trumka of the @AFLCIO Stand up for the nation's jobless

More than 2,000 jobless workers, activists and clergy are on Capitol Hill today. Thousands more are making their voices heard in district offices across the country.

Back them up: Help flood Congress with messages.

And be sure to share this on Facebook and sign our Twitter petition.
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Chris from South Carolina used to work in an unemployment office. Then he was laid off. Here’s his warning:
You should know that Congress has let the emergency benefits lapse several times in the past few years and always when a break is scheduled for them. It happened last Easter and last Christmas. They don’t care about the unemployed. They take their holiday break and deal with it when they return to Washington.
We can’t assume Congress will renew unemployment in time for the millions who are hanging by a thread before extended benefits expire Dec. 31. That’s why we’re pulling out all the stops. More than 2,000 jobless workers, activists and clergy are on Capitol Hill, right now—demanding a clean and immediate extension of emergency unemployment benefits. Thousands more are in district offices across the country.

As we gather on Capitol Hill and at district offices, activists across the country are flooding Congress with messages.

Add your voice: Help make sure the voices of America’s jobless can’t be ignored by Congress.

Diane from Michigan worked in the newspaper industry and is now unemployed. Here’s how she describes her situation:
Every job opening has hundreds, if not thousands, of applicants. It is almost impossible to get a job—especially if you also face age discrimination. Retraining is too costly. Meanwhile, we are hanging on by a thread. No health insurance....My current unemployment benefits are the only thing saving me from the street. I have faced food insecurity for the first time.
We must not let people like Diane be forgotten.

Make Congress hear the stories and see the faces of jobless workers. Contact Congress now and demand an immediate, clean extension of emergency unemployment benefits.

Momentum is building—but we can’t take the passage of emergency unemployment aid for granted.

Obstructionists like House Speaker John Boehner—who has nearly absolute control over what comes up for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives—continue to block a clean, immediate extension of emergency jobless aid. There’s no excuse for that. Especially when our economy is so bad and budget cuts in our communities are so dire.

Chris, a now unemployed unemployment office worker, asks a powerful question: “Don’t they realize they work for us?

Tell Congress: “You work for us. Renew emergency unemployment aid now.

Will obstructionists like Speaker Boehner really let benefits lapse yet again, take a vacation, come back and play partisan games?

Will the obstructionists let families get thrown out of their homes? Will they force kids to go hungry to extract cuts and concessions that hurt our most vulnerable people?

Send a clear message now: “No help for the jobless? No vacation for Congress!

Thank you for all the work you do.

In Solidarity,

Richard L. Trumka
President, AFL-CIO

P.S. Our unemployment stories website has been covered by the media in publications lawmakers read while in Washington, D.C., including The Washington Post and The Hill—plus papers they read at home.

But we need your help to make sure every lawmaker feels the heat and sees these stories. Take action now.

To find out more about the AFL-CIO, please visit our website at

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