Thursday, December 1, 2011

MEDIA ALERT: Unemployed Workers and Our Economy Need Help Now!

ATLANTA JOBS WITH JUSTICE SAYS UNEMPLOYED WORKERS AND OUR ECONOMY NEED HELP NOW, ESPECIALLY IN GEORGIA AND ATLANTA

WHAT:
Responding to new federal statistics for November, unemployed Atlantans and Jobs with Justice spokespeople will call for aggressive action to turn our economy around through a public hiring program and extending unemployment insurance benefits.

WHEN:
1 p.m., Friday December 2, 2011

WHERE:
Room 403, Georgia State Capitol

SPEAKERS:
Unemployed Georgians
Balewa Alimayu, director, Heroic Veterans of Georgia
Larry Pellegrini, executive director, Georgia Rural Urban Summit

SPONSOR:
Atlanta Jobs with Justice, a coalition of 19 labor, community, student and faith-based organizations.

WHY:
  • Deceptively named legislation pre-filed by Senators John Albers and  Chip Rogers called Dignity for the Unemployed would in-fact stigmatize the unemployed by singling them out for an unpaid community service requirement.
  • Georgia's unemployment rate of 10.2 in October was higher than the national average (9 percent) for the 51st month in a row.
  • Atlanta's October unemployment rate was even higher than Georgia's: 11 percent in the city, although it dropped to 9.9 in the greater metro area (Georgia Dept. of Labor).
  • Georgia is the fourth most distressed state in the nation, measured by unemployment, housing, credit, household budgets and net worth (CredAbility's Consumer Distress Index)
  • Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler proposes lowering the maximum unemployment insurance benefit from $330 to 300 per week and possibly reducing the number of benefit weeks, to make up for a shortfall caused by the Georgia legislature giving employers a tax holiday.
  • The United States Postal Service is under pressure to shut down needed community post offices in Atlanta and cut hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs, disproportionately impacting communities of color.
  • Atlanta Jobs with Justice demands an aggressive, large-scale public program to create good jobs, especially for the hardest hit populations: communities of color, youth, older workers, and the long-term unemployed, paid for by taxes on the most affluent individuals and corporations, and extension ­ not reduction ­ of unemployment benefits. Unlike budget cuts and layoffs, this would stimulate our economy, preserve vital public services and help families remain independent.
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