One Week Unemployment Insurance for Striking Workers
One Week Unemployment Insurance for Striking Workers (Wallace A.1443 / Kennedy S.4402)
Under the National Labor Relations Act, workers have a legally protected right to organize, collectively bargain and strike in order to improve working conditions and benefits and wages - however, these rights are weakened by extended waiting periods for necessary benefits like unemployment insurance.
- In New York State, workers eligible for unemployment insurance must only wait one-week prior to receiving benefits. However, striking workers must wait two weeks for benefits to start.
- Increased waiting periods threaten the financial security of striking workers and weaken workers’ rights to organize, collectively bargain and strike.
- Recently, CWA nurses went on strike for more than a month in Buffalo, NY. During almost half of this period, they were not eligible for UI benefits. As a result, our members were at a significant disadvantage and relied on our strike fund for basic necessities like food and rent.
- The bill decreases the suspension period to apply for unemployment insurance benefits for striking workers from two weeks to one week thereby protecting workers’ rights to organize, bargain and strike.