Back to work, or else: Trump administration tells states to pull unemployment benefits – People’s World
WASHINGTON—GOP President Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary, Eugene Scalia, and his #2 who runs the agency that oversees jobless benefits want employers to report—and states to bar benefits from—workers who fear returning to their old jobs because their employers won’t protect them against the coronavirus.
The memo, from John Pallasch, a GOP operative, an advocate for so-called charter schools and a former top Kentucky Employment Department official under right-wing GOP Gov. Matt Bevin, makes clear the intention is to deny jobless benefits to those jobless workers.
“States must work to maintain program integrity by ensuring claimants”—workers—“are not continuing to claim benefits when they have been offered suitable work,” he declared. In other words, if you’re offered your old job, regardless of conditions, you must take it.
That drew the ire of the Communications Workers.
“When you put a union-buster in charge of the Labor Department, workers are the ones who suffer,” said Micki Siegel de Hernández, CWA Deputy Director of Occupational Health and Safety, referring to Scalia’s own past anti-worker record.