Seasonal workers are being penalized

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Whenever you work construction, your work is seasonal; you have no control over the weather. Everything shuts down for the winter. That’s why the government requires that you to pay into unemployment insurance. Unemployment compensation gives you an income until you can go back to work in the spring. Every construction worker goes through this. Conversely every construction worker also works 80 hours a week in the summer to make up for it. Most construction companies work a seasonally adjusted schedule, and it’s not your choice not to work overtime in order to meet deadlines because of the weather.

I’ve been collecting unemployment compensation for 40 years under these circumstances, but I’m now not eligible! I made too much of my gross annual income in one quarter, under a new threshold our illustrious governor snuck in on us. I have no income!

First, all unemployment compensation is not welfare. I paid into it every week out of my pay. Second, do you think I want to work 80 hours a week in the summer instead of being with my family enjoying my life? I don’t have a choice.

What this governor is telling me to do is stop working once my quarter has reached the threshold, or I won’t get unemployment compensation. In the governor’s mind, if you’re not working, you must be a welfare cheat, lazy and a bum. I guarantee that my construction buddies and I will outwork any governor, senator or congressman in office today.

I don’t want to be retrained. I’ll be back to work in three months. I don’t want someone else’s job. I’ve been doing this job for 40 years. I just want to survive the winter while there isn’t any work. I want to collect the unemployment compensation I paid into so I can pay my bills.

PHILIP GEISLER
Upper St. Clair


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