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Coronavirus tips: In-home worker safety top of mind for consumers and workers

Here is a TV news story on staying safe during the COVID-19 crisis from UA Local 130 Business Manager James Coyne: Please watch this segment on ABC Channel 7 with John Jennison of Norman Mechanical regarding how to safely have workers in your home during COVID-19 pandemic

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Do you have questions about unemployment benefits? Here’s what you need to know

Americans are applying for unemployment in record numbers as the coronavirus pandemic has effectively shuttered much of the U.S. economy.

Roughly 16 million people applied for benefits in the last three weeks — about 10% of the workforce and nearly double the 8.7 million claims filed during the entire Great Recession.

Below, we answer some questions readers may have about unemployment benefits.

What is unemployment insurance?

Unemployment insurance is a form of “social insurance” that provides temporary income support to Americans who lose their jobs. Cash benefits are generally paid weekly to recipients.

Are benefits the same for everybody?

No. Payment amounts depend on a worker’s prior wages, typically over the last four quarters. They also vary significantly between states, which administer unemployment benefits and use different formulas to calculate aid.  

How do I file for unemployment?

Contact your state’s unemployment office as soon as possible after becoming unemployed.

You should generally file your claim with the state where you worked. You can find details of each state program and how to file in your state using the U.S. Labor Department’s Unemployment Benefits Finder.

This Union’s Members Are Risking Their Lives So Americans Can Still Eat
The president of the United Food and Commercial Workers says around 30 members have died since the pandemic began. He expects that number to go up.

Never has so much been asked of America’s grocery store and meatpacking workers. They are working through a pandemic, getting sick and in some cases even dying so that others can put food on the table. Most of them are doing it for lower wages than other essential workers who continue to do their jobs as coronavirus cases balloon.


Many who risk their health each day have been relaying their fears and frustrations to the United Food and Commercial Workers, which represents 1.3 million workers in the U.S. and Canada and is one of the largest private-sector unions in the country.

Marc Perrone, the UFCW’s president, told HuffPost that the union is working hard to keep up with its members’ concerns, as well as those of nonunion workers now highly interested in organizing. For many in the latter category, the pressure of recent weeks has stripped away any sense that they are paid fairly and protected adequately on the job. 

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