Check out this clip that features John Dodds & PUP members being interviewed late last year when extended benefits were being threatened in Congress, much like they are now in the PA legislature: Click Here.
Yesterday, the Philadelphia Daily News profiled Frank Wallace, a PUP member and unemployed worker. The article covers the difficulty in finding a job, and the lack of decent-paying positions for workers who don’t have college degrees. Check it out here.
Hello, everybody! This is Adam, the intern here at PUP. I’ll be blogging here over the summer to bring you updates on unemployment-related matters. For my first post, I’m glad to say I have great news:
This past Tuesday, HB 916, the bill that would have made tremendous cuts to Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation program, was voted down by a stunning vote of 122-79. This is great news for the many people who rely on UC to survive. Significantly, Republican legislators in the Southeast region joined Democrats to vote this down. In the days before the vote, these reps received calls from numerous PUP members, along with members of unemployedworkers.org, the Mon Valley Unemployed Committee, SEPA AFL-CIO, UFCW 1776, and others. When so many of the policies being put in place ignore the needs of ordinary people, the fact that our voices have been heard is nothing short of inspiring.
Of course, there were those who favored the bill. In a letter to state reps, the National Federation of Independent Business claimed that 916 is “…an important and necessary first step to bring Pennsylvania’s state unemployment trust fund to solvency.” Of course, they failed to mention that one of the major reasons the system is in crisis is that employer input hasn’t been raised since 1984! I’d like to see if they’d be in favor of raising that input (not likely). Instead of letting employers rake in the profits, we should be demanding that they pay their fare share. In calling your legislators, that’s exactly what you did.
However, as Wisconsin workers are well aware, politicians are great at slipping legislation through unnoticed. In this case, HB 916 could still be reconsidered. So, we have to stay vigilant. Keep calling your reps, and tell them that they should vote this bill down if it comes back up. The corporate world will keep pushing back. They’ve got a lot of power and a lot of influence. But, as you showed them this time, Goliath isn’t invincible.
Also, if you’re on Facebook, “like” our new Pennsylvania Unemployment Project page in order to received the latest news and alerts on important issues and PUP activities. If you’re not on Facebook, just hop on over and sign up. Here’s our link:
According to the New York times at www.nytimes.com published on April 9th 2011. Americans know that banks have mistreated borrowers in many ways in foreclosure cases. Among other things, they habitually filed false court documents. There were investigations. We’ve been waiting for federal and state regulators to crack down.
Prepare for a disappointment. As early as this week, federal bank regulators and the nation’s big banks are expected to close a deal that is supposed to address and correct the scandalous abuses. If these agreements are anything like the draft agreement recently published by the American Banker — and we believe they will be — they will be a wrist slap, at best. At worst, they are an attempt to preclude other efforts to hold banks accountable. They are unlikely to ease the foreclosure crisis. All homeowners will suffer as a result. Some 6.7 million homes have already been lost in the housing bust, and another 3.3 million will be lost through 2012. The plunge in home equity — $5.6 trillion so far — hits everyone because foreclosures are a drag on all house prices.
According to http://www.nelp.org/page/speakout/continue-extended-benefits-in-PA . Unless Pennsylvania lawmakers take action soon, long-term unemployed workers in Pennsylvania will lose up to 20 weeks of unemployment compensation known as Extended Benefits on June 11, 2011. Senate Bill 994 would allow Pennsylvania’s unemployed to keep these federally-funded benefits.
On June 11, 2011, an estimated 45,000 unemployed workers in Pennsylvania will be cut-off of the Extended Benefits they’ve been receiving — unless the legislature acts. Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry estimates that a total of 135,000 jobless workers could lose eligibility for these benefits this year starting on June 11th.
The federal government now covers 100% of the cost of these benefits for non-government employees. All the state needs to do to continue receiving these federally-funded benefits is to enact a technical fix to the state unemployment insurance law. Senate Bill 994 would do just that.
To participate in this action go to this URL
On April 1st HUD finally signed the Emergency Homeowner’s Loan Program agreement with Pennsylvania. This was certainly good news for a lot of people who might benefit from the program however a lot more homes could have been saved if the program would have started on time. The program passed last July by congress was slated to begin in October of last year. The cruel irony is that the program ends September of this year. That leaves just about 5 months for the program to be in effect. That’s just for Pennsylvania which will get $106 million. The rest of the country will get the remainder of the 1.6 billion total fund only they will start later.
All of this begs the question of why does the government drag their feet and only pay cursory attention to struggling homeowners when they jumped to bail out banks and mortgage companies.
The fact is that record number of Americans continue to lose their homes in this ongoing financial crisis. In fact the continued foreclosures threaten to undermine the entire economic recovery.
Members of PUP’s Foreclosure Crisis Committee believe that because the EHLP program started late, in all fairness to struggling homeowners it should be extended. What do you think? Holla back at me.
The Philadelphia Unemployment Project [PUP] has been at the forefront of fights for the out-of-work and underpaid since the 70s. Now, we are happy to have our own blog. Watch this space for news about both PUP campaigns, the new Commuter Options program and the activities of our sister organization, the Unemployment Information Center, and its foreclosure prevention and job development services.