AFLCIO Stimulus Protest

Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 5:43pm

The Steel Workers Union and the Louisiana chapter of the AFLCIO want Bobby Jindal to take the stimulus cash. The protested at the state capitol today. As our David D’Aquin found out, the group is asking the legislature to go over the Governor’s head.

The AFLCIO and the Steel Workers Union says Bobby Jindal’s decision not to take some of the money from the stimulus plan is a bad move. Louis Reine, President of LA AFLCIO says, “We’re actually saying ‘take another look.’ We think we can avoid a tax increase at the same time provide benefits for working men and women in the state of Louisiana.” Reine says Louisiana’s banks account for unemployment is already low and turning away the cash will lead to tax increases.

Governor Jindal says tax increases are certain if he accepts the cash. Protesters say taking the money will help out the economy in Louisiana. Workers at the rally said they pay taxes, so some of the cash should come back to Louisiana.

Mark Jones worked in a north Louisiana plant for 31 years, and like many plant workers in the state, his hours were cut then the plant shut down. Now, Jones is out of a job. Jones has hit dozens of dead ends, but says he’s diligently looking for work. “I’ve did this ever since high school. It’s the only job I’ve ever had. I’ll have to start from scratch. I believe I’ll find something, hopefully I will.”

Jones hopes he’ll be able to get some unemployment benefits while he’s out looking for work and says he’s upset Governor Jindal won’t take the money from the stimulus plan.

Governor Jindal says accepting federal stimulus money for unemployment will hurt Louisiana businesses in the long run. Jindal says the end result will be higher taxes for the state’s businesses.