Senator Zaynab Mohamed Introduces Bill to Allow Striking Workers Access to Unemployment Insurance

ST. PAUL, Minn. — On Wednesday, March 13th, the Senate Jobs and Economic Development Committee heard Senate File 3588, a bill authored by Senator Zaynab Mohamed (DFL-Minneapolis). The bill would allow striking workers access to unemployment insurance (UI) benefits after a waiting period, which would be roughly 14 days or more. The bill will also allow for quicker access to UI benefits for workers if their employer hires a replacement worker to perform the duties of the UI applicant’s position, including an existing and reassigned worker.

For fifty years our country has reduced the democratic rights of our workers, while reducing the responsibilities corporations have to our society. This was a conscious policy decision, and today we are choosing differently,” said Sen. Mohamed. “Minnesota has a strong economy because we have a strong workforce. A strong workforce requires fair contracts, so we recognize the pivotal role of collective action in enhancing pay and working conditions. Some employers know that their deep pockets can help them win against their workers who cannot afford to go without pay. Expanding unemployment insurance benefits in this way would provide stability and a safety net for workers and their families, while incentivizing employers to engage in good-faith negotiations that will ultimately benefit everyone.”

Senate File 3588 was laid over in committee for possible inclusion in an omnibus bill later in session.

Senator Zaynab Mohamed represents Senate District 63 which includes Minneapolis. She is vice chair of the Jobs and Economic Development Committee, and serves on the Capital Investment Committee, Finance Committee, and the Housing and Homelessness Prevention Committee.
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