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Group protests outside Georgia Department of Labor to demand unemployment answers

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Thousands of Georgians say they are on the verge of losing everything because they have waited for unemployment checks for up to five months.

Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes was outside the Georgia Department of Labor in downtown Atlanta Tuesday. A group of unemployed workers and elected officials held a protest at the office.

“I am 69 years old, but I work two jobs just to pay my bills every month – I haven’t had a paycheck since March 13th,” Carmen Lindsey said.

People like Lindsey have been calling their elected officials for help because they don’t know what else to do.

Many of those officials have met with the Georgia Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler to discuss the concerns. But they say those talks are getting nowhere.

“We’ve heard the same things regurgitated over and over about the problems. People need solutions. It’s the 1st of the month. You have people getting ready to face evictions. People’s water and utilities are going to be disconnected and right now we’re trying to stabilize homes for virtual learning,” Rep. Kim Schofield said.

Some people say the system is so backwards that college students are getting money while they get nothing.

“You have kids out here getting unemployment for doing nothing,” one woman told Fernandes. “Absolutely nothing. I worked and I pay my taxes. I haven’t received not one dollar. How freaking fair is that to us?

Fernandes reached out to the commissioner’s office to get a response to today’s protests and people still waiting on unemployment benefits. So far, she has not hear back from the office.

More protests are planned for the rest of the week in metro Atlanta at 10 a.m:

  • Wednesday, August 5: Georgia Department of Labor, 2211 Beaver Ruin Road, Suite 160, Norcross, GA 30071
  • Thursday, August 6: Georgia Department of Labor, 465 Big Shanty Road, Marietta, GA 30066 and Georgia Department of Labor, 3090 Mercer University Drive, Macon, GA 31204
  • Friday, August 7: Georgia Department of Labor, 223 Courtland Street NE, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30303

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