Media Event in Milwaukee today supporting new legislation banning discrimination against long-term unemployed

This morning in Milwaukee, Citizen Action of Wisconsin joined State Representative Mandela Barnes to support legislation banning employment discrimination against the long term unemployed. With Wisconsin’s private sector job growth ranked 37th in the nation, this important bill helps provide the long term unemployed with an equal opportunity to secure employment.

Nationally, the rate of long-term unemployed is the highest it has ever been since the Great Depression and research establishes that people who have been unemployed more than 6 months face severe employment discrimination even when they have appropriate training and experience.

Gov. Walker unfairly blames the unemployed for a lack of job skills rather than address the significant and documented shortage of jobs in Wisconsin. This job shortage accentuates the discrimination the unemployed face in finding work in Wisconsin.

“You can’t punish people back to work,” said Sheila Cochran, secretary treasurer, Milwaukee Area Labor Council. “At some point we have to move the state forward in a direction that provides an equal opportunity for everyone searching for employment.”

“I have been unemployed for 9 months,” said Sharron McMurray. “I no longer receive unemployment insurance and I can’t pay my bills. I am only looking for the freedom a job provides. However, every month I remain unemployed it gets harder to find an employer willing to give me a chance. All I want is an opportunity to work. This bill gives me an equal chance.”

“People need hope, not discrimination, in this tough economy.” commented Willie Brisco, president of Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope.

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