N​ew Jersey CWA Members Putting in Heroic Effort to Process Record Jobless Claims

In the face of Covid-19 finding so many New Jersey workers in tough economic times and ​without income or jobs, CWA members at the New Jersey Department of Labor (DOL) have been working tirelessly to process a record number of unemployment claims.​

"Over the course of seven weeks, 1 million New Jerseyans have lost their jobs or incomes and have filed for unemployment," said CWA NJ Area Director Hetty Rosenstein in a recent op-ed for​. "An amazing group of several hundred modestly paid unemployment workers – Unemployment Insurance Clerks and Claims Examiners – have processed over 700,000 of those claims and gotten people paid. That is double the number of claims that were processed in all of last year. In seven weeks.​"

Lydia Diaz​, an unemployment insurance clerk​ and CWA Local 1037 member, recently spoke with NJTVOnline about how her work has changed since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.

 ”I’ve worked at this job for 20 years, and never seen anything like this,” she said. ”I’ve helped people through other crises – like when the housing market crashed – but it wasn’t anything nearly as massive as now.  By the end of the day, my hands are cramped and my legs are swollen from the hours at my computer. But it is all worth it for when someone is able to get the money they need.”​

While there are still more claims to be processed, CWA members at the DOL are going above and beyond to provided assistance and make sure every NJ worker gets the help they need to get them through this crisis. ​