Buffenbarger Urges Congress Not to Drop Hammer on Unemployed

UI4Amid a painfully slow economic recovery, IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger called on Congress to extend Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) to the nation’s unemployed.

“Since 1958 Congress has continued the EUC program when long term unemployment, as a percent of the workforce, is as high as it is now,” said Buffenbarger. “Long term unemployment remains at historic levels and is at least twice as high as the expiration of every previous program.”

The Senate yesterday passed a recently approved House budget deal that threatens to eliminate unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans, including 20,000 veterans.

On December 28 the EUC program will also end and an additional 1.9 million Americans will have their unemployment compensation cut in the first six months of 2014.

“While unemployment benefits average a modest $300 per week, unemployment compensation puts food on the table, helps provide resources for the unemployed to look for work and provides support for consumer demand,” continued Buffenbarger. “Ending the EUC program will cost our economy 200,000 urgently needed jobs.”

Read IP Buffenbarger’s letter.