Locked Out Workers Get Boost from House Vote

Locked Out Workers Get Boost from House Vote

HB 4086 will extend unemployment to a full year for affected workers

Today, the Oregon House voted 49-9 to extend unemployment benefits for locked out workers from six months to 12 months.

Nearly 200 Steelworkers have been locked out of their worksite at the ATI plant in Albany since August due to a multi-state labor dispute.  Their six months of unemployment benefits ran out about two weeks ago, leaving those workers and their families without a safety net.

House Bill 4086 will give these workers—and workers like them in the future—a full year of benefits while the labor dispute is negotiated.

The bill was carried by Rep. Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis), who has spent time with the Albany workers as they picket the lockout.  

“These are workers with families and mortgages, and they’ve spent the last six months living on 40-50% of their income,” says Rep. Rayfield.  “If we don’t act, they’ll be left with nothing.  This bill will provide a desperately needed lifeline to these workers and their families.”

Many of the affected workers came to Salem in early February to tell their stories of hardship to the House Committee on Business and Labor.

HB 4086 will now be considered by the Senate.