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Are You A Striking Union Worker In The USA?

Updated : September 29th, 2020

The unemployment ratio in the USA has been showing a deteriorating nature but at a very slow pace. Despite sinking oil prices and a rally on the wall street, the unemployment rate in the USA has sunk below 5% for the first time in the past eight years. “The United States Of America right now has the strongest, most durable economy in the world”, says Obama, the president. With the longest streak of the private sector and more than 14 million new jobs being introduced, the economy is the strongest over the past two years.

Striking Union Worker

Yet, if you are one among the 4.9% of the unemployed bunch or a striking union worker, here’s everything that you would want to know when you apply for the unemployment benefits; the requirements and eligibility that would qualify you for the same.

Can You Collect Unemployment Benefits?

Unemployment benefits are social benefit programs that are paid by the government to eligible workers between 40-50% of their previous salary. The fund paid by the government is contributed largely by the state and federal payroll taxes levied against employees to workers who are unemployed due to no fault of their own.

Unemployment Benefits For Striking Workers In USA

In most of the places across the globe, striking workers are not eligible to collect benefits because the government considers them to have left their job voluntarily. A bill emerged during a six-week strike involving Verizon workers, who walked off the job in protest of telecommunications giant’s contract demands. About 4,600 of the 40,000 East Coast employees were on strike work in New Jersey.

Seth Han, a legislative director for the communications workers of America, a union that represents a thousand Verizon call center workers in New Jersey, proposed to pass the bill.

Under this bill approved by the State Senate Labor Committee, workers can access unemployment insurance in labor disputes when an employer violates the terms of an employment contract or the collective bargaining agreement. And striking workers are eligible after a 30-days waiting program if the dispute isn’t promoted by an employer’s failure to comply with contract terms.

Verizon spokesman, Ray mcConville said that the employees on strike do have an option of seeking coverage under Cobra (the federal law that allows people to keep paying their health insurance they lost through work)

Are You Eligible For UI Benefits?

You are eligible for the UI benefits if you fall into any of the following categories-

  • If you are locked out by your employee or laid off due to lack of work because of the strike.
  • If you quit the job during the labor disputes, then you can be eligible to receive the unemployment benefits.
  • If you are fired during the labor disputes.
  • If you are replaced during the labor disputes.
  • If you are a member of a union that is currently on strike and you do not participate in the strike, you may still collect benefits, if you happen to lose your job during the strike. If you are barred from collecting unemployment benefits during the strike, you will become eligible once the work stoppage ends or if your unemployment is not related to the strike.
  • If there is a time lag between when the strike ends and when the employer resumes work, you are eligible to collect unemployment benefits during this period. This generally depends on the nature of the delay.

Factors Affecting Eligibility

The following factors affect the eligibility of an unemployed striking worker-

  • If the unemployed person has made an unconditional offer to return to work after a certain period, then he will not be eligible to receive the unemployment compensation.
  • If an employer is providing any sort of financial aid to the striking union workers, then this makes them ineligible for the same.
  • If an employee is willing to return to the workplace as per the employer’s terms, then he/she become unqualified to receive the benefits.
State To State Difference In The Unemployment Benefits

The fingerprint of no two individuals are the same, they say. Similarly, no two states in the USA provide similar unemployment benefits to the striking workers.

  • In the state of New York, an unemployed striking worker cannot claim the benefits until the union has striked for a duration of 49 days. A week later after filing your application, you will be able to collect your first check.
  • In Texas, the applicant must indicate if he/she is a union member.
  • In California, the agency requires a phone interview for applicants who are involved in a strike, lockout or a labor dispute.

Given above are the requirements in a few states in the US. Similarly, every other state asks for different pieces of information while deciding your eligibility for unemployment benefits.

Procedure To File A Claim

Are you unsure about how to register for your unemployment benefits? If so, keep the following things in mind while doing so-

  • Once unemployed, you should contact the State Unemployment Insurance Agency as soon as possible. There are provisions to do the same over a telephone or mail, in some of the states in the US.
  • Accurate details of yourself (which includes your name and permanent address) and of your previous employment should be given when asked for, in order to make sure that your claim is not denied.
  • If you have worked in a state that you are not currently residing in, or in multiple states, the UI agency where you live now can provide information on how to file your claim with other states.
  • Generally, it takes more than a week or two for you to receive your first benefit check. In some states, a waiting period of one week is required.

Is It A Grey Sky Lying Ahead?

“10 years ago I was proud to begin working on bipartisan efforts to save unemployment insurance. Let’s do it again, quickly in this new year.” After four years of rarely weighing in on domestic issues as she served as America’s top diplomat, Clinton is increasingly placing her position on the unemployment benefits issue. The introduction of benefits to striking labor workers is one big move and promises a very bright future.

Despite being a very thoughtful and effective measure, the benefits program for the unemployed striking workers faces uncertainty. A new Rasmussen report on national television and the online survey finds that 57% of likely US voters oppose a law in their state that would allow union workers to collect unemployment workers while on strike. 32% favors the law while 11% are undecided. This leads us to another dilemma as to what is going to happen in the near future.

Yes, the brick has been laid, but what’s to come over it is something that none of us are aware of.

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  1. I had trouble getting my proof of self-employment to upload in secure file exchange and finally got it submitted by 12:06 am , 6 minutes late. What are the possibilities that they will deny it? I have received unemployment from March 2020 to some of Jan and some in Feb 2021. Most of Dec, Jan, Feb, March, & april were stopped for this proof of employment.
    Also, I see proof of Income as a 2nd issue but it is always on there. That was not on my TO DO list.
    I feel for u all on ID.ME…

    Anyone trying to reach UI, call their number, press 2 or 3 (questions abt filing a claim?) and then wait thru the message. At the end of it, u will be connected to a live person! I promise.. don’t push another button.. I’ve done it 4 times and it never failed.

    We lost our home, my ex took my child…. (kept her after a visit and called cps facilitating drama while the cops wouldn’t give her back without paperwork locked up in the court house..shut down for covid) I raised her by myself for 12 years & now she is with a violent alcoholic and parental alienating parent .. ….my dog, my 9-year sweet little best friend, was attacked, passing away 3 days later.. all in this time frame.
    But! It will all be ok. I have faith.

    Be grateful for your life and all that is in it today. What u dwell on daily will be your strength or weakness.
    Good luck to all of u.
    And thank you, Jeff, for responding out here. It is appreciated!
    Davulia S.

  2. I filed over two months ago. I have not received any information. My status says “pending resolution”. I have no way of contacting anyone. My position was eliminated at my job and I submitted the documentations online. I dont know what else I can do.

  3. I have been apply Ohio Pua unemployment since July 5th still pending issues. Upload what they ask for when ever I call says your case is in Adjudication. Very very frustrated, financially I am broke. Health issues. Waiting a long period.Don’t know what I will do ?

    1. Nafisa,

      I can understand your situation. There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until payments normalize.

    2. Same here since Feb 2021 turned in all the documents still pending issues 3 months now. When you call they tell you to be patient. Pulling my hair out it’s so frustrating.

  4. I was receiving PUA unemployment. they made me file for a new claim in February. Now I am in adjudication even though I gave all the same information from my previous claim. Have been adjudication since February and I call and they say they will put in a ticket to have an Adjudicator call me. Nothing. I am wondering If I can go down to to Maryland Unemployment Office and demand that someone talk with me to release my claim for payment. It’s been 56 days. I read that they have a maximum of 45 days.

    1. Luis,

      Your adjudicator may be inundated with pending cases. Please continue to follow up (if you have the contact details) or consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

    2. t sounds just like mine only im disqualified yet actie every till sept 4th . they haven’t asked me for anything! i file then its disqualified yet im told im ok and have nothing to do bit wait for an answer? answer to what? they switched my program and all and asked me to provide proof for a claim that wa denied al eady back in 2018! deny me once and then again perhaps? lol idk

  5. My mom had unemployment in Florida. She just recently moved temporally to California with a sister since she needs assistance, and now the website is telling her she cannot do anything because she is register in another state. Can she keep filing unemployment in Florida, even if she is living and register now in another state? how is the process to change the unemployment? I tried calling and there is no answer. Thank you!

    1. Stephanie,

      Please ask your mother to consider transferring the UI benefits from FL to CA (details will be available on either of the websites). If there are benefits weeks left in the account, she will be able to claim them.

    1. Leatha,

      UI benefits are offered to claimants who lose employment involuntarily and be able to and available for work.

  6. I lived in ga in 2019 and move to florida in 2020 and work for the xmas months in nov-dec. I was told to do a combine wage claim. my question is which state do i file the claim in?

  7. I filed for pua in Ohio back in October 2020.My claim has been in ajudacatuon since 11/1/20.So 2 to 6 weeks is a total understatement! When I call.i am told to basically hurry up and wait some more.I have recently been redetermined and my claim is allowed.but I have one pending issue.How long is too long?

    1. Nicole,

      Unfortunately, nobody has an answer. There are perhaps thousands of pending applications. Please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

  8. If you claim your weeks for unemployment and for the next 2 months you still have not received your money. Where can you go in volusia county to talk with a live person

      1. HI Jeff,
        I applied back in Dec 5th, 2020 and I haven’t received any correspondence, is there a local office that I can make an appt to make certain my claim is right.

        1. Adam,

          You can consider visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible (details will be available on the Unemployment Office’s website).

  9. On NYS DOL website, my claim is saying current yet the information is for my old claim with 0 days remaining despite receiving 2 weeks of payments on the new claim and I was able to certify last night. I haven’t received anything; no letters or emails.

  10. I was disqualified for UI benefits for not providing an ID and other forms of identification. How do I fix this?

        1. Gary,

          You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

    1. Hi Mike, I’m in NYS and was at the end of my BYE on 3/14, I was still certifying but wasn’t getting paid. I found out I had to file a new claim because my other was exhausted. I’m still waiting on approval. Maybe you have to file a new claim. I hope this helps.

  11. They say 2-6 weeks it’s more accurate to say 2-6 months; and when you call many of them are rude and unwilling to assist!

  12. someone needs to look into Sharon L. Anton gillette, wyo. or dickinson, nd she is a fraud and has done so many fraudulent things and please look into her

    1. Annette,

      Please report it to the Fraud Division of the Unemployment Office in your state. You can report on the website.

  13. I worked part time for thee years here in florida. I’m currently not working. I’m also retired and collects social security.
    My question is
    Am I qualified to file for unemployment ?

    1. Ruby,

      To be eligible, you’re required to have sufficient hours and earnings. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website.

  14. So adjudication takes 8 to 12 weeks. Oh okay, that explains why I havent received payment since July. That surely helps just like the rest of the information that you give. And by the way. What’s the NEW reason you can’t get through to the Call Center.

    1. Maria,
      I have gotten through to the call center (live agent) every time i’ve tried calling within the last 2 weeks. The number to a live agent (follow the prompts carefully) is (667)-207-6520. i have gotten through within 10 to 15 mins with each call i had made!

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