Working Through Barriers
Worker advocates are raising concerns that many residents of New York City and State are unaware of, or uncertain about their eligibility for, the thirteen-week unemployment benefits extension passed by Congress. Although the New York State Department of Labor is attempting to publicize the extended benefits, most of the department’s publications and services are in English and Spanish. Many of the 35.5 percent of NYC residents who are from other countries speak neither of these languages, and are unable to get information on the extension or apply for it without the help of bilingual friends or family members. In response to this dilemma, one local officer of the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE) has suggested that the Labor Department work with unions and other community groups to solve this problem.