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Cuomo: Unemployment for Striking Workers After 2 weeks

Previously, strikers had to wait seven weeks before they could apply for unemployment

Posted on
Feb 07, 2020

Our good friend at Newsday, James Madore reports that Governor Cuomo took the side of workers trying to fight for better wages, benefits, and an overall better life.

The amount of time that striking workers must wait to begin receiving unemployment benefits has been reduced from nine weeks to four weeks by a new state law.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the legislation into law on Thursday after negotiating changes to a bill adopted last year by the State Legislature.

Under the new law, private-sector employees can file for unemployment benefits after being on strike for two weeks and receive their first benefit check after a one-week waiting period.

Previously, strikers had to wait seven weeks before they could apply for unemployment and received their first benefit check in the ninth week.

New York now has the most generous unemployment benefits law for striking workers, according to Cuomo and union leaders.

“This new law will protect our brothers and sisters in labor at a time when we have a federal government that is increasingly hostile to the union movement,” Cuomo told Newsday.

New York is the second-most unionized state after Hawaii, though 140,000 fewer New Yorkers were union members in 2019 compared with a year earlier. The ranks of private-sector and government-worker unions totaled 1.73 million in 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Long Island is home to about 250,000 union members.

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