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Katie Adams and Latrice Wilson (photo: Liles Taylor, Kentucky State AFL-CIO)

Katie Adams and Latrice Wilson (photo: Liles Taylor, Kentucky State AFL-CIO)

Pass the HEROES Act

The Kentucky State AFL-CIO and other groups have often protested in front of Sen. Mitch McConnell's office at the federal courthouse in downtown Louisville.

"But this is the first time we have done so with a mobile car and truck caravan to lift up our message to McConnell that he needs to pass the key, essential elements of the HEROES Act now," said Bill Londrigan, Kentucky State AFL-CIO president.

Workers in about 40 vehicles joined the Thursday procession, which included a Teamsters semi and a mobile digital billboard.

Drivers circled the courthouse honking their horns, Matthew Glowiki wrote in the Louisville Courier-Journal. Afterwards, the caravan drove past McConnell's Louisville home. (The senator was in Washington.)

The motorized protestors want congressional leaders--particularly Senate Majority Leader McConnell--to restore and extend the $600 federal supplement to unemployment benefits that ran out on July 31

The motorized protestors want congressional leaders--particularly Senate Majority Leader McConnell--to restore and extend the $600 federal supplement to unemployment benefits that ran out on July 31, Glowiki added. "Save the $600" and "Mitch better have my money" signs were taped to many of the vehicles' windows and on the Teamster semi.

Glowiki quoted Katie Adams of Bowling Green and Latrice Wilson of Louisville, both of whom are laid off.

Adams had been working as a sales account manager. "We are in an unprecedented and global pandemic, and we need help," she said. "We did not ask for this to happen. I want to be able to work."

AddedAdams: "Regular unemployment benefits are not going to cut it. We're all looking for jobs. We're not lazy like people claim. Believe me, I want to get back to work in my field doing what I love."

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Wilson said she lost her part-time job and full time jobs, the latter as a health care industry payroll supervisor. "Thank God I was able to save a little bit," she told Glowiki. "But now I have to dip into my savings because we don't have the extra $600."

Londrigan welcomed Adams and Wilson to the action. He was pleased with the turnout and thanked "everyone who showed up, and who helped organize the event."

He cited Unemployed Action, the Teamsters and the Center For Popular Democracy. The latter organization furnished the "Mitch Do Your Job" mobile digital billboard. "And thanks to our two unemployed workers, Latrice Wilson and Katie Adams, for telling their stories."

Added Londrigan: "We must keep the focus on McConnell’s failure to support the Heroes Act, which passed the House of Representatives over two months ago, and his lack of support for safety and health on the job, health care coverage, support for state and local governments, food assistance for families, infrastructure investments and of course the $600 federal unemployment benefit.”

Meanwhile, Londrigan said, "McConnell and Trump have given billions and billions in tax breaks to their wealthy friends and corporations, but when it comes to helping workers and their families, it’s a different story. With 30 million unemployed in America chasing 5 million or so job openings, it is clear folks aren’t home by choice.

"We want a Heroes Act, not Multi-Millionaire Moscow Mitch McConnell’s ZEROS Act."

Londrigan also urged union members to keep calling McConnell's Washington office at 866-832-1560 "and tell McConnell to get off the sidelines and do his job!"

Here are links to other media coverage of the protest:

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Berry Craig