LIUNA Calls on Congress to Extend Federal Unemployment Insurance

Nov 30, 2011, 09:30 ET from Laborers' International Union of North America

Benefits Set to Run Out as America's Construction Industry Continues to Struggle

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today LIUNA – the Laborers' International Union of North America – strongly urged Congress to extend federal unemployment insurance at a time when job creation in the construction industry remains stagnant.


"Nearly 14 percent of construction workers can't find a job today. Now is not the time to cut off the federal unemployment insurance that has allowed them to keep a roof over their heads and feed their families," said LIUNA General President Terry O'Sullivan. "These men and women want to work, but for over four years, the new jobs they need simply haven't been there. Congress needs to do the responsible thing and extend unemployment insurance now."

Federal unemployment insurance benefits are scheduled to expire in January. If Congress fails to act, many of America's 1.1 million unemployed construction workers could face disaster. Failing to extend unemployment insurance would also weaken an already struggling economy by denying families the ability to make even basic purchases.

President Obama and Democrats in Congress have proposed paying for a new extension of unemployment insurance by eliminating tax deductions and loopholes that favor the wealthy and large corporations. So far, Republicans have rejected this approach while still demanding that the cost of an extension be offset.

"Once again, we see Republican politicians protecting the richest 1 percent while doing nothing for the other 99 percent – even those who have been out of work for months on end," O'Sullivan said. "But we can't afford to play political games on this issue – the lives of working men and women and their children are at stake. It's time for Congress to end the posturing, get to work, and extend these benefits that people desperately need."

The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers' International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the construction industry, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build America.

SOURCE Laborers' International Union of North America