Happy Labor Day — now drop dead

Unemployed Workers Union protest in Baltimore. SLL photo

At least 7.5 million workers will lose all their unemployment benefits on Sept. 6. Another 3 million workers will lose part of their income. That’s how the capitalist government celebrates Labor Day.

Two million workers in California will be thrown off a cliff. So will 1.2 million in New York State and nearly a half-million in Pennsylvania. 

What are jobless workers and their loved ones to do? Counting family members, 20 million or more people will be endangered.

Hunger will increase and so will people losing their homes. Food banks are bracing for an upsurge of need.

The cut-off on Labor Day comes after the U.S. Supreme Court declared the ban on evictions and foreclosures to be illegal. What should be illegal are rent-gouging landlords and banksters stealing homes.

Hardest hit will be Black and Latinx workers. The official unemployment rate for Black workers is 9.2 percent. 

Ending the benefits comes after the capitalist economy added only 235,000 jobs in August instead of the predicted 720,000.

That gives the lie to the claim that unemployment benefits are an incentive for people not to work. Even Forbes magazine — the self-described “capitalist tool” — admits that isn’t true.

The jobs aren’t there. There are six million fewer people employed than last spring.

Yet President Biden sent an Aug. 19 letter to members of Congress that it was “appropriate” for the federal unemployment benefits to expire. 

Who elected you, Joe? Is it “appropriate” for children and their parents to go hungry?

What’s needed is a fightback. That’s what the Unemployed Workers Union is doing in Maryland. It helped stop Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan from cutting unemployment benefits in July.

We need to increase the volume. If Congress doesn’t act to restore these absolutely necessary benefits, the labor movement should march on Washington, D.C., and the state capitals.

As Frederick Douglass said: “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” 

Jobs or income now! Don’t starve — fight!

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