ESCANABA — Many who have been unemployed on the finish of 2020 are nonetheless trying to find jobs within the new 12 months, however how the pandemic has effected employers and workers has diverse vastly — even in Delta County.
Waitress Kathy Nelson is weathering her second layoff since March. She stated whereas she simply desires to get again to work, she is holding out to return to at Drifters Restaurant in Escanaba, the place she has labored for over three a long time.
“I’ve by no means labored for 2 folks like that in my life,” Nelson stated of homeowners Liza Plourde and Heather Schram. “Liza and Heather have a coronary heart of gold. They put their workers earlier than themselves. It’s a household enterprise and we’re a household,” she stated.
Like many within the U.P., Nelson lives in an space that doesn’t have entry to the web. With libraries closed to the general public, Nelson and others with out an web connection are left to use for unemployment advantages by telephone. The problem, she stated, is proving formidable.
A number of occasions a day Nelson drives a quarter-mile down her icy nation street to a cease signal wrapped with a giant pink bow. There, she and others in her quick neighborhood which have sensible telephones however no landlines pull to the aspect of the street to make telephone calls.
Not reaching a human when she calls to file for unemployment has been irritating. Getting hung up on after a recording tells Nelson, “On account of excessive name quantity, we’re unable to take your name right now,” has been downright infuriating, she stated.
That is Nelson’s second layoff with out pay. Throughout her first layoff in March of 2020, she was unable to succeed in anybody on the Michigan Unemployment Insurnace Company till she was again at work after two months with out advantages.
Nelson’s second layoff started on Nov. 4, and greater than two months later she has but to succeed in anybody by telephone. The scenario is unfathomable, Nelson stated, declaring folks can get prescribed drugs from a pharmacy over the telephone utilizing an automatic system.
“Why can’t they do a system like that with unemployment?” she asks.
Emergency financial savings has helped Nelson get by means of the winter, however she is aware of it gained’t final
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