Lawmakers seeking help from feds

Lawmakers seeking help from feds
 
Date May 19, 2006
Section(s) Local News
 
By Daily News Staff

Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin and Iowa Rep. Leonard Boswell are calling for meetings and assistance for Newton in the wake of the loss of 1,800 Whirlpool jobs.

Grassley announced he will host a meeting with Newton Mayor Chaz Allen and Assistant Secretary of Labor Emily Stover DeRocco on June 8 to follow up on a personal telephone call Grassley made to Department of Labor Secretary Elaine Chao after the Whirlpool announcement. Following the conversation, Chao asked the assistant secretary for employment and training administration to assist the Maytag workers and the community with all the available resources at the department.

“When I called Secretary Chao, she was very sympathetic to the Newton community and offered all resources that the department had available,” Grassley said. “I appreciate the work the labor department is doing to help the workers and the community. We need all hands on deck to ensure that these workers get the reemployment services they need to help them prepare for future employment.”

Grassley said he expects the discussion to include the array of opportunities and assistance that are available from the labor department to respond to the needs of the Maytag workers. They plan also to identify similar resources that are available across the federal government for the workers and the community.

Also today, Harkin and Boswell sent a letter to Chao, calling upon the Bush administration to help displaced Whirlpool workers.

“The loss of 1,800 jobs will be profoundly felt in the Newton community, and if appropriate federal resources are not immediately made available, these layoffs will have a devastating effect on the lives and economic security of these workers and their families,” Harkin said in a released statement.

In their letter, Harkin and Boswell called upon the Department of Labor to:

* Make trade adjust assistance benefits available to all affected Maytag workers.

* Mobilize the DOL rapid response program.

* Provide swift approval of National Emergency Grant.

* Support assistance through community colleges.

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