FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE–October 11, 2020
Workers to Rally on Capitol Steps Monday Morning Before House Labor Committee Hearing
Louisiana’s workers are hurting, and tomorrow, Monday, October 12, they will head to the Capitol to make their case to the state legislature that they need more support during these difficult times. Unemployed workers, labor unions, and advocates will hold a rally on steps of the Louisiana Capitol at 9:30 a.m. to support three bills that will be heard in the House Labor & Industrial Relations Committee at 11:00 a.m.
BATON ROUGE, LA | October 11, 2020—On Monday, October 12, at 9:30 a.m., employed and unemployed workers will be joined by the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice (PCEJ), Step Up Louisiana, the Louisiana Budget Project, UNITE HERE Local 23, Southeast Louisiana Building and Construction Trades Council, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) of Louisiana, the Workplace Justice Project, LiUNA Local 99, Ironworkers Local 623, Oxfam, IUPAT District Council 80, and others for a rally on the steps of the Louisiana Capitol. After the rally, the group will go into the 11:00 a.m. Labor & Industrial Relations Committee hearing to support three bills.
Speakers at the rally will include unemployed workers, who will tell their stories of how they’re struggling during the pandemic, as well as legislators and advocates. The three bills are House Bill 34, by Rep. Mandie Landry, which deals with worker misclassification; House Bill 88, by Rep. Royce Duplessis, which seeks to increase the state’s weekly unemployment benefits by $100; and House Bill 93, by Rep. Matthew Willard, which would establish a work-share program in Louisiana.
More than 100,000 Louisianans are currently out of work, many of them having lost their jobs due to the pandemic-induced economic recession. Louisiana’s current maximum weekly unemployment benefit of $247 is one of the three lowest in the country, and is nowhere near enough to afford housing and food, let alone anything beyond those essentials. That low weekly benefit also hurts businesses, since those unemployed workers can’t spend in their local economies.
Employed workers are also losing out on wages and benefits because their employers misclassify them as independent contractors. Misclassification also reduces state revenue by artificially reducing taxes owed. A workshare program would make it easier for businesses to temporarily reduce the hours of their employees during economic downturns, instead of laying them off.
All three of these bills represent necessary reforms to our state’s workforce laws, and would be mutually beneficial to employed and unemployed workers, businesses, and the economy as a whole. It’s time to put the hard-working people of Louisiana first, and to do it as quickly as possible.
The Power Coalition for Equity and Justice works to build voice and power in traditionally ignored communities. We are a coalition of groups from across Louisiana whose mission is to organize in impacted communities, educate and turn out voters, and fight for policies that create a more equitable and just system in Louisiana.
Who: Power Coalition for Equity and Justice (PCEJ), Step Up Louisiana, the Louisiana Budget Project, UNITE HERE Local 23, Southeast Louisiana Building and Construction Trades Council, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) of Louisiana, the Workplace Justice Project, LiUNA Local 99, Ironworkers Local 623, Oxfam, IUPAT District Council 80
What: Unemployed workers, labor unions, and advocates to hold a rally on the Louisiana Capitol steps on Monday, October 12, at 9:30 a.m., before going into the 11:00 a.m. House Labor & Industrial Relations Committee hearing to support three bills–HB 34, HB 88, and HB 93.
When: October 12, 2020
Ashley Shelton, Executive Director, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, (225) 802-2435, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Robins-Brown, Communications Director, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, (504) 256-8196, email@example.com