November 4, 2016
Laid-off Freightliner worker takes Gov. McCrory to task over unemployment cuts, “shady politics”
Describing himself as someone who always voted Republican, United Auto Workers member Jon Greene of Mocksville, NC said in a letter to the editor of the Salisbury Post that Gov. McCrory’s “shady politics have completely changed the way I vote.”
I am a 14-year employee of Freightliner in Cleveland who has experienced five layoffs under governors from both parties, but Governor McCrory made major changes to our unemployment system and not for the better.
Governor McCrory cut eligibility from 26 to 12 weeks and claims that lowered unemployment, but he’s not counting anyone who couldn’t find work in 12 weeks. And what if you’re lucky enough to find work before losing your eligibility but the plant shuts down for a week or the job doesn’t work out?
Before Governor McCrory, you only had to wait one week a year before filing for unemployment. Now every time you’re laid off you must wait another week. Add the two weeks your employer gets to respond before you get a dime, and you might have to go three weeks without any income. That’s the best-case scenario because the average wait is five weeks. If I hadn’t had a good-paying union job that let me put money into savings —my “layoff fund” — we wouldn’t have made it.
Governor McCrory brags about the new jobs coming here and says finding work shouldn’t be hard. The truth is most of those new jobs pay low wages without benefits. Many are only available through temp agencies, which can work you as little as they want and then end your assignment, find you a minimum wage job, and prevent you from drawing unemployment at all.
This year I’ll be voting for my livelihood. I helped Pat move into the Governor’s Mansion, but this year I look forward to helping him move out. [emphasis added]
Read Jon’s letter below and share it on Facebook.