Millions of people are turning to unemployment benefits, all because of what the coronavirus pandemic is doing to the nation.
“I am unemployed and tired,” said Travis and Michelle Smith, Step Up Louisiana Members.
“I’m unemployed. How can you help me,” asked Will Walker, also a member of Step Up Louisiana.
Two different people, same stressful situation. These workers have been kept afloat by the $600 weekly pandemic unemployment compensation benefits. Now, both are using their situation to advocate for change through the group called Step Up Louisiana. They are asking that relief funding isn’t reduced or cut off.
“It’s not easy. The $600 is helping me manifest my obstacles and problems,” Walker shared.
“Everyone is not able to go back to a job,” said Smith. “Some of us don’t have a job to go back to.”
With talks of cutting unemployment pay in half, some Senators are being forced to address the issue.
“If the economy is reopening and jobs are becoming available, then obviously people can return back to work and they do better back at work and gain seniority and get benefits. Etc,” stated Senator Bill Cassidy, Louisiana (R).
Not everyone likes what is being said though.
“I think that’s ridiculous,” said Walker. “People are getting Sick right now and my job was at the convention center. I was a bartender and now it’s a hospital. So we are not going back anytime soon.”
“It’s just not about going back to work,” Smith reasoned. “I mean, do they track the data that is going on everyday? I mean there are businesses here in New Orleans that are shuttering completely.”
Step Up Louisiana is hosting a statewide protest Thursday at 10:30 outside of each one of the Senator’s offices, hoping they will get the attention of lawmakers to get them to step up and make reforms.