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State Legislators Consider Extending Benefits for Striking Workers

Sheri Baker (left) talks with fellow UAW member Isaac Valle (right)
Sheri Baker (left) talks with fellow UAW member Isaac Valle (right)

Union leaders are looking through a tentative agreement between labor and General Motors that could end a strike that's lasted longer than 30 days. Democratic state lawmakers say they want legislation that would not only help union workers in any future strikes, but could benefit the workers of the current strike too.

House Democrats want to change the law that says striking workers don't receive unemployment compensation and food stamp benefits because they're considered to be people who are voluntarily leaving their jobs. And they’d make that retroactive.

Sheri Baker has been a United Auto Worker union member for nearly 23 years. She said these benefits, especially for temporary workers, would go a long way.

"It is very important because they're not knowing how they're going to feed their children, they're not knowing how to buy formula, buy diapers."

Republican House Speaker Larry Householder didn’t comment on the proposed legislation.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.