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TN AFL-CIO Criticizes Elected Leaders' Failure to Protect Workers

Alyssa Hansen
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TN AFL-CIO President Billy Dycus issued the following statement in response to the failure to extend enhanced unemployment benefits before this weekend's deadline. "By letting the additional $600 in unemployment benefits expire, working families in Tennessee and across the country have once again been failed by our leaders. Instead of putting partisanship aside and simply doing what is right to help those who are struggling to make ends meet, politicians are playing games with their constituents' livelihoods. Punishing workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own is clear proof that elected officials' priorities are completely out-of-order and misguided. Abruptly ending these benefits will undoubtedly have a catastrophic effect throughout our society, the full impact of which remains to be seen. Forcing Tennessee workers to survive on a meager $275 a week is appalling and underscores Governor Bill Lee's lack of leadership throughout the duration of this crisis. Constantly punting the ball on making important decisions regarding residents' health and safety to local officials and failing to include any workers on his Economic Recovery Group earlier this year shows that he is unable to lead our state during these unprecedented times. Enough is enough. Inaction is no longer an option. It's time to put working families first at all levels of government and ensure that they continue to receive the assistance that they need before things get even worse."