Jobless workers, community activists and union members stood in the freezing cold on Tuesday in St. Louis, part of actions across the country for the AFL-CIO Day of Solidarity with the unemployed. They called on Senator Claire McCaskill to immediately restore unemployment insurance for a year for the million jobless workers currently without any aid, delivering petitions signed by thousands of Missourians.
Right before leaving for the Thanksgiving holiday, Republicans Akin, Blunt, Emerson, Graves and Luetkemeyer voted to deny this critical lifeline to jobless Missourians. To remind the public about the catastrophic results of the vote, and to demonstrate the urgency to Sen. McCaskill, participants formed a soup line down Delmar Blvd. The Depression-era image of people standing on the streets, in the cold, waiting for a free meal was more than symbolic. If immediate action isn't taken, millions of jobless workers and their families will literally have no options this winter.
Fifteen million Americans are currently unemployed, with over 278,000 in Missouri. By the end of December, 2 million people will have lost this critical lifeline unless Congress acts to extend unemployment insurance.
Lloyd Schultz, jobless worker from St. Louis said, "I can't wait to go back to work. Unemployment insurance is the only thing keeping many of us with a roof over our heads and food on the table this winter."
Never before has Congress let unemployment benefits expire when this many people have been out of work. Missouri AFL-CIO President Hugh McVey said, “Time is running out for Congress to take action before massive pain—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.”
What you can do:
- Watch the AFL-CIO video on unemployment insurance and write Congress at http://www.aflcio.org/lifeline
- Call Senator McCaskill TODAY at (877) 662-2889
- Spread the word to your friends and family. When you Tweet about the issue, please use the hashtag #ExtendUI and direct people to get involved at http://aflcio.org/ui