ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland’s House Of Delegates have asked Gov. Larry Hogan to remove Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson from her post in a letter Friday.
“In the spirit of bipartisanship and in the best interest of our collective interests, we are writing to ask that you immediately: Remove Tiffany Robinson as Labor Secretary based on the ongoing failures of her leadership to rectify the catastrophic unemployment benefit delivery during COVID-19 and cease your defense against lawsuits filed to terminate federally available enhanced unemployment benefits,” the letter stated.READ MORE: ‘It’s Devastating’ | Demonstrators Demand Governor Hogan Continue Federal Unemployment Benefits; Court Hearing Scheduled For Friday
While they said they were happy to work with the governor throughout the pandemic and cheered him on when he told Marylanders to “wear the damn mask,” they said his decision to “turn your back on unemployed Marylanders” during the recovery is “short-sighted and ill-advised.”
They say while there are jobs available, they may not be in the right sector or could be located on the other side of the state. They also cite affordable child care and elder care as issues for why some Marylanders can’t get back to work.
This comes as unemployed Marylanders say they’re barely making ends meet.
For Daysi Serpa, unemployment checks are her lifeline.
“I have a family to take care of I have a boy and a girl,” she said.
She’s not the only unemployed Marylander struggling to make ends meet.
“What we’re seeking with this lawsuit is that people just get their benefits through the federal program until September 6 to give them some time to find work,” said Roxie Herbekian of Unite Here Local 7, a hospitality workers union.READ MORE: Maryland Court Of Appeals Upholds Temporary Restraining Order Keeping Federal Unemployment Benefits In Place
The governor’s press office called the letter a political stunt that smacks of total desperation.
“What exactly is their plan to help small businesses and mom and pop stores struggling to find workers right now? They don’t have one. Just a bunch of nonsense,” said spokesperson Michael Ricci.
Right now, there’s a temporary restraining order allowing Maryland’s unemployed to continue to collect an additional $300 in benefits through at least July 13.
Frustrated unemployed Marylanders say they’ve had ongoing persistent problems with the system, and haven’t been able to get their checks, reapply, or reach anyone in the department.
“We rely on this unemployment since being laid off and if they cut it off it will be a huge issue,” said Shad Baban, a Baltimore hotel worker.
A hearing on unemployment was supposed to be held Friday afternoon, but that has been postponed until Monday.
Read the full letter below:
Baltimore Judge Rules Against Discontinuing Pandemic Unemployment Benefits; State To Appeal