BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The unemployed workers union held a protest outside the governor’s mansion on Saturday over Gov. Hogan’s decision to end federal unemployment benefits.

Earlier this month, the governor said he would end the enhanced unemployment and reinstate work search requirements beginning July 3.  Many leaders and residents have criticized his decision and have urged the governor to reinstate the benefits.

READ MORE: Baltimore City Leaders Urge Gov. Hogan To Reinstate Unemployment Benefits

In a joint letter, Baltimore city leaders said in part, “not only will thousands in Baltimore be forced to seek work in hazardous environments that fail to offer to living wages, but thousands more will continue to endure joblessness with a weakened safety net.”

The Governor’s office released this statement following the criticism:

READ MORE: Gov. Hogan Talks Unemployment Claim Issues, Defends Ending Extra Federal Benefits After Some Outraged Over Problems

“Our health and economic recovery continues to outpace the nation, and we have reached the benchmark set by President Biden of vaccinating 70 percent of adults,” said Governor Hogan. “While these federal programs provided important temporary relief, vaccines and jobs are now in good supply. And we have a critical problem where businesses across our state are trying to hire more people, but many are facing severe worker shortages. After 12 consecutive months of job growth, we look forward to getting more Marylanders back to work.”

The unemployed workers union said they have plans to file a class-action lawsuit.

MORE NEWS: Gov. Hogan Defends Decision To End Federal Unemployment Benefits

This story was originally posted on June 20, 2021.

CBS Baltimore Staff