Workers’ rights groups come together around a single mission: Advocating for working families

Unemployed workers plead with government to fix broken system for jobless benefits

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Problems with the unemployment system are just one of the grievances workers have over their treatment during the pandemic.

On Thursday, organizations representing workers came together to advocate for their members.

Some are calling for a higher minimum wage, especially when families need the money.

Nurses are asking to ban forced overtime.

And the Hawaii Workers Center is asking for the state Department of Labor to open up their offices in-person to those who need help processing their claims.

“The challenges that this pandemic has brought upon our workers are devastating,” said Sam Domingo, with the Hawaii Workers Center.

“We continue to struggle and see the struggle of our people. This morning, we are here to announce a coalition, a new coalition of people to support our working families here in Hawaii.”

St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church in Kalihi was the backdrop for the message, where six days a week the church serves as a food distribution site.

“Since COVID, it has been really a mixed variety of people that we’re seeing,” said Wally Inglis, with the church.

Inglis helps run the Wallyhouse, which has been kept busy lately.

“When we started three years ago it was just homeless people. Now we’re seeing people who are not homeless, who have a home, but they don’t have a job, they don’t have income.”

The groups are planning another a rally at the state Capitol building on Wednesday.

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