Outraged over reductions in unemployment benefits that took effect over the weekend, civil rights leaders vowed to organize a ninth “Moral Monday” protest outside the North Carolina legislature late Monday afternoon.
North Carolina is the first state to cut off a federal unemployment compensation program for the long-term jobless. Republican lawmakers say reducing the duration and amount of unemployment payments will help the state repay money it borrowed from the federal government to honor a flood of claims during the recession.
But critics say the move will cause 170,000 North Carolinians to lose benefits.
Changes in North Carolina’s unemployment law are just the latest in a series of issues behind the “Moral Monday” protests, which have drawn hundreds of civil rights leaders, left-leaning clergy and citizens to the state Legislative Complex almost every week since April 29.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor