Hawaiʻi Unemployed United Hosting Protests Nov. 7 for Improvement in Unemployment Insurance Processing

Hawai’i Unemployed United is organizing statewide protests Nov. 9 to highlight problems with the processing and payment of unemployment insurance claims and demand changes to address those problems.

On Maui, it is located at 54 South High St., Wailuku. On the Big Island, protests will be at 1990 Kinoole St. in Hilo and 81-990 Halekii St., Kealakekua Kona. And in Kauai, it will be at 4370 Kukui Grove St. in Lihue. All protests start at 9 am.

Oahu demonstrations in Honolulu will be at Washington Place, 320 S. Beretania St. and at the Hawaii State Capitol, 415 S. Beretania St. Neighboring island’s protests will be held at their unemployment offices.

Hawaii Unemployment United organizers said in a news release that “people who are without work due to the COVID-19 pandemic are hitting their breaking point. A class action lawsuit was presented to the Supreme Court of Hawai’i on Sept, 28, 2020. On Oct. 29 the Court denied to hear our case. Tens of thousands of residents of Hawai’i are still waiting to have their claims processed, have appeal heard, or receive their benefits. We tried through the legal system, but that didn’t get us anywhere.”

“Now ‘We, the People’ must take matters into our own hands. We are gathering peacefully and safely (social distancing with masks) to bring attention to this very serious problem and demand immediate processing/payment of our claims.

The group’s “demands” include:

  • Process and pay all unemployment claims within 2 weeks.
  • Provide call center workers with quality training and authority to correct errors and update claims over the phone. Accurate/consistent answers are provided to all claimants.
  • Hire 200 more Examiners/Adjudicators, as the claims requiring Examiners are in limbo the longest.
  • Fire unemployment insurance employees who have numerous complaints filed against them.
  • Amp up Department of Labor and Industrial Relations oversight. The amount of wasted time and bureaucratic hurdles claimants have to go through is a nightmare.

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