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AP Sobs: ‘Moms’ Are Losing Fed Jobless Benefits

From a tear-stained Associated Press:

‘Long-term unemployment’ — one mom’s story

By MARTHA IRVINE [sic] | January 28, 2014

AURORA, Ill. (AP) — Down the road from an emergency food pantry where a small crowd waits for the chance to gather free groceries, there is a church sign that reads: "If you need help, ask God. If you don’t, thank God."

Debbie Jurcak, one of those in line, will tell you that it is indeed divine help — or, anyway, faith-based organizations — that she and her family have relied on in recent weeks. Late last month, the federal government ended her unemployment benefits, six months after she was laid off from an administrative job.

Having passed that six-month mark, she had joined the ranks of the "long-term unemployed," a growing group of more than 1.3 million Americans for whom Congress recently declined to extend benefits. It is a label that Jurcak, a former teacher with two master’s degrees, never expected would apply to her.

"It’s not something you want to go around talking about all the time. I think a lot of people don’t share what the depth of their need is," the 43-year-old mother of three said, wiping tears from underneath her glasses as she waited for her turn at the West Suburban Community Pantry, outside Chicago.

"But … there’s no room for pride," she added, "because we all come to a point in our life — whether it’s financial reasons, or medical reasons, or mental health reasons, or whatever they are — where you recognize your need for help." …

Turns out, Jurcak is one of the lucky ones, or so she hopes. After months applying for jobs, she learned just days after her visit to the pantry, that she got a customer service job, which she starts this week. It’s only temporary for now and the pay is modest. But if she proves herself, there’s a good chance she’ll be hired permanently, she said…

So she found a job when her long term benefits were ended? What a coincidence. But the AP goes on to chronicle several other heart-breaking stories due to Congress’s mean refusal to extend those one time emergency federal unemployment benefits for the fifth year in a row.

However, it isn’t all doom and gloom at the Associated Press:

US day laborers helped by groups in NY, elsewhere

By CLAUDIA TORRENS [sic] | January 27, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — Martin Garcia was making $80 a day cleaning the basement of a New York City building after Superstorm Sandy. The 34-year-old Mexican immigrant worked 12 hours a day without protective gear. Today, he makes $180 a day as a carpenter in a Brooklyn townhouse undergoing renovation, and he uses a safety helmet, protective glasses and gloves.

$180 a day works out to $46,800 a year. And, if you are an illegal, it’s tax-free, of course.

"It’s been a drastic change for me," Garcia says of his latest working conditions. "My life has improved, not only financially but also in the quality of the work."

Isn’t that wonderful?! And, of course, it doesn’t occur to the AP that Mr. Garcia might be taking away a job from an American citizen like one of those poor moms the AP chronicled in their above story.

Being a day laborer no longer necessarily means waiting on a street corner to be picked up by a truck and working for a daily wage in grueling conditions. Day laborer groups and nonprofits across the country are helping these workers by negotiating temporary work contracts, teaching them health and safety standards in the workplace and offering protection against wage theft, a common problem

Yippee! Are they also making sure these people report their income and pay their taxes? (Just kidding.)

The Latin Union of Chicago has a workers’ center that helps about 200 workers throughout the year who negotiate temporary contracts with companies typically for hourly wages of about $15 to $35, depending on the experience of the worker.

$35 an hour works out to an annual salary of $72,800 — again, tax free.

Seattle and San Francisco also have networks for day laborers, and Los Angeles has financed these groups with public money.

Taxpayers pay to help people take jobs away from fellow taxpayers. Isn’t that wonderful!

In New York, a new day laborer center opened in Queens this summer, the third in the city.. The nonprofit has about 500 immigrants registered with the organization. El Centro del Immigrante also operates a center in Staten Island…

Isn’t that splendid? Non-taxpaying organizations help non-taxpayers take jobs away from American citizens who pay taxes. But we need to extend federal unemployment benefits yet again.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, January 28th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “AP Sobs: ‘Moms’ Are Losing Fed Jobless Benefits”

  1. Like the 97 million other Americans?




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