Our Victories through Organizing the Unemployed during the Pandemic

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PUP has organized around several key demands that have been won to protect families impacted by unemployment during pandemic.

1.  Our main demands came together as the Unemployed Rescue Package https://philaup.org/web/we-need-an-unemployment-rescue-package/        

 We successfully advocated for extended unemployment benefits, continuation of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for gig workers, self-employed and freelancers, supplemental unemployment benefits, mortgage and rental assistance.  All of these programs were later approved. We were one of the few on-the-ground groups working with workers laid off by the pandemic who were making these demands

2.  We demanded a delay in foreclosure sheriff sales in May 2021 and successfully got the courts and sheriff to halt the sales for 4 months while waiting for federal foreclosure assistance programs to be available to homeowners



3. With hundreds of thousands of unemployed Pennsylvanians waiting to receive their unemployment compensation, PUP demanded that the state “Pay Benefits Now!”  

Our organizing has gotten benefits payed for thousands and we continue to press for more rapid action to get people desperately needed benefits. Last week the Secretary of Labor, Jennifer Berrier, agreed to pay up to 30,000 people benefits that were being held up without a proper determination.



Editorial by John Dodds and Barney Oursler-

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