Workers continue fight for unemployment benefits

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The protests may have paused for now, but the fight for unemployment benefits goes on as some Hoosiers won’t receive them from now on.

“Without it, we have nothing,” said Barb Driskill who works for Sodexo at Earlham College in Richmond. “I mean that’s how we feed our family. That’s how we pay our bills”

For 16 years, she’s gotten unemployment during the summer break, but a new law has banished that for her and thousands of others Hoosiers that don’t work year round.

“Folks that are on a regularly scheduled unpaid vacation are now ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits,” explained Department of Workforce Development Spokesman Joe Frank.

Not only that, but now those people have to pay back the benefits they took after the law changed. For Driskill, that’s $1,500 that she said she can’t afford.

Some will see the money taken from their tax refunds this year. Others have already lost money.

Local 3826, the union for IPS bus drivers, has been giving away gas cards to help those affected. It recently raised money to keep a driver from being put out of her home.

“They’re being evicted. They’re getting letters from their landlords. I mean it put them in a hardship. It’s really bad,” said the union’s President Grigite Yancey.

Last year, the union went on strike to send a message. Now, Yancey said, it’s fighting back with a class-action lawsuit. It filed an appeal last Friday.

“At least my members have hope. You know we are fighting it, we’re gonna keep fighting it,” said Yancey.


  • jbke040

    If they don’t be careful they will not have drivers for buses so then what is the parents going to do to get there chiildren back and forth to school. Hell we pay taxes for the school corp could they not put that in there budget too. Maybe lower the pay for the superitents!!

  • Hoosierhardworker

    I don't get to just have 8-12 weeks off each summer and use unemployment for my income, these whiners need to find another job to fill in the gap. Time folks quit always taking from the government and take care of themselves!

  • RedStateVet

    More union whining. Must have been nice to have a 3 month summer vacation financed by the Indiana Taxpayer.

  • Dance1968

    What the state is calling a vacation is when staff is being laid off due to a work. The majority of these people are not union, but low paid hourly staff, virtually the underserved and underprivileged. People who live pay check to pay check. Most upsetting is how WorkForce One has impimented the laws. As a conscience employer we spent many hours with our local workforce one office attempting to get clarification of the law. Their (Workforce One) recommendation was to file. These people are doing what the “professionals” told them to do.

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