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Backlash over state workers being automatically enrolled in unemployment services

A lot of backlash on Wednesday night from some Michigan workers struggling with the state's...
A lot of backlash on Wednesday night from some Michigan workers struggling with the state's unemployment system. They're upset state workers get to be automatically enrolled while they have to fight with an overloaded system. (WILX)
Published: Apr. 22, 2020 at 11:37 PM EDT
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A lot of backlash on Wednesday night from some Michigan workers struggling with the state's unemployment system.

They're upset state workers get to be automatically enrolled while they have to fight with an overloaded system.

Mid-Michigan workers who spoke with News 10 say they've been patiently working with the unemployment system and think it's unfair state employees don't have to go through the application process.

"I've tried and tried and tried my hardest to call if I do get through- well you can wait 2 hours I wait 2 seconds they hang up on me," said Steven Banister.

Eaton Rapids resident Banister says he filed for unemployment towards the end of March.

He says he has been having a horrible experience trying to get to his unemployment funds.

"I have (written) to them several times the responses-- were call. All 3 times I responded 3 different times like what can I do? Is there something I'm doing wrong? What's going on? I had to wait almost 2 weeks for the response to be call them, we can't doing anything for you, yet, you tell me when I call to go online," said Banister.

On Wednesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced temporary layoffs of state employees because of the coronavirus pandemic.

She said state employees will keep their health insurance, other benefits and will automatically be enrolled in the unemployment system.

Flint resident Angela Mathes says she has been waiting for answers after she filed for unemployment in late March.

She says she doesn't think state employees being automatically enrolled is fair to those who have been waiting patiently.

"How long does one have to be patient honestly state workers - hello? We've been waiting a month I think that state workers should have to do the same and wait a month and see how they fair on it and its not fair," said Mathes.

During her afternoon press conference, Governor Whitmer explained that state employees don't get any unfair advantages just that they won't have to go out of their way to sign up.

"We're asking the sacrifice of our state employees so we wanted to take that as one stresser off their plate as they're trying to figure out the next steps with our - this action that we had to take now.," said Governor Whitmer.

The Governor says that around 825 million dollars in payments have gone out to more than 800 thousand claims that have been affected by COVID-19.

Governor Whitmer says they have been received over a million unemployment claims since March, 15.

The Governor is encouraging people to keep applying for unemployment online.

To find more information about how to file for unemployment online head to it's website,

.

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