Thursday, December 8, 2011

Unemployment Insurance is the LEAST We Can Offer Working Families

by Elisanta “Lisa” Batista

The reason I say “working” families is because this economy is much more complicated than “working” and “unemployed.” There are many families like ours, struggling, even though we both technically have jobs. We are both in our 50s, have no retirement savings and are living paycheck to paycheck.

A year ago, my husband who was our family’s main breadwinner lost his job at a manufacturing plant. This is an industry that has been hammered in the present economy.

Thanks to the extension of unemployment insurance a year ago, my husband was
able to continue to pay the bills for a while longer. Then he took a job at another
plant that, unfortunately, pays less than half of his previous position. There are
many workers like him.

Even when times are tough, we try to count our blessings. We are fortunate to have health insurance through our jobs and I am lucky to work for a company that has allowed me to work extra hours for more pay. I am also allowed a flexible schedule when a family emergency arises. Both my daughter, who has debilitating neuropathy, and my mother-in-law, who has Alzheimer’s disease, live with us. It’s tough.

That’s why it is important that we not forget about our workers, especially this holiday season. Making sure that workers have unemployment insurance while they are looking for a job is the least we can do for hardworking families and will help stimulate our economy for everyone.

Cross-posted with Mom's Rising

Part of the #HERvotes blog carnival.

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