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Minnesota Senate Committee votes to outlaw workfare

by staff |
April 11, 2007
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Women outside MN senate hearing room
(Fight Back! News/Kim DeFranco)

St. Paul, MN - The Senate Business, Industry and Jobs Committee voted to outlaw workfare - forced, free labor performed by welfare recipients. The bill, authored by David Tomassoni (D-Chisholm), was initiated by the Twin Cities-based Welfare Rights Committee.

The senate committee heard testimony from women who have been pushed to work for free as well as from labor leaders who are against workfare in Minnesota. Phyllis Walker, president of AFSCME Local 3800 (clerical workers at the University of Minnesota) testified about the many unions and statewide labor bodies that have endorsed the legislation.

A Welfare Rights Committee statement noted, “Workfare is an insult to poor parents, who already know about working the hardest jobs for the least pay. Minnesota does not need to do workfare to meet federal welfare requirements. Workfare is a right-wing devised giveaway to corporations - a giveaway of poor mothers’ forced, free labor.”