Letter to the editor: DOL treating low-income workers unfairly

As the Vermont Department of Labor begins to deny unemployment benefits to people whose job search does not please them, remember some factors.

Schools are starting to reopen, but less experienced workers often must work odd hours. With summer coming, and day care cost and availability limited, some children will be left home alone.

The state preaches about “the work ethic.” That means the hardest work usually pays the least. Vermont’s Mickey Mouse minimum wage is adequate — for a person living with their parents.

We need to focus on better education and job training. High school guidance is often inadequate for non-college bound students. Vermont Dept. of Labor assistance for job search and job training is depleted. Counseling is depleted

Montpelier bureaucrats recently bungled unemployment applications. They exposed the Social Security numbers, etc., of many recipients early this year.

Our governor and many legislators want less support for low-income people in order to create forced labor for businesses. Walmart tells new hires how to apply for food stamps and Medicaid benefits. That’s good business for the Waltons, who are the world’s richest family. 

The good news about COVID layoffs is that some victims have located jobs with decent pay and benefits. We need more of these and to not scapegoat the low-income worker.

Geoffrey G. Cobden




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