In the past year, many Iowans have experienced filing for unemployment. As a result, many Iowans now realize just how important this lifeline can be for working people and their families. Right now, the Republican Legislature is moving a bill that would cut back on unemployment benefits, during a global pandemic.
This proposal would institute a one week waiting period — for no good reason — for anyone who applies for unemployment. No one I know who has ever been laid off through no fault of their own, especially now, wants to lose their job, let alone go on unemployment. Making that family wait a week just means that the rich will continue to stuff their pockets during this pandemic while that family suffers.
In addition, this legislation would disproportionately hurt rural Iowa. It cuts the number of weeks available in the case of a business closing by 13 weeks. I grew up in rural Iowa, and I understand what it means when an industry or plant that sustains that town goes under. People receiving those benefits are keeping main street alive until the town can get back on its feet. This Legislature and governor need to stop these plans from moving forward and get back to the work that Iowans sent them there to do.
President, Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO