'Jobs now!' Angry workers march at Capitol

'Jobs now!' Angry workers march at Capitol »Play Video

SALEM, Ore. -- From the outside steps, shouts of "jobs now" echoed through the halls of the Oregon Capitol.

Hundreds of out-of-work Oregonians showed up in Salem on Wednesday, calling on lawmakers to pass legislation that would help create jobs.

J.C. Allen, president of Local 1065 union, said "42 percent of my local is out of work; highly qualified hard working family people. We need to get back to work. We believe the jobs are there. We have a highly skilled crew."

Naomi Johnson of Cottage Grove works in heavy highway construction. The single mother traveled to Salem with her child to show support for those who are out of work.

"It's jobs, the jobs that we've been waiting for," she said. "A lot of my brothers and sisters have been out of work for the last nine to 10 months, and I've gotten lucky but it doesn't mean it's not going to happen to me."

The president of the Oregon AFL-CIO, Tom Chamberlain, is calling on legislators to do more than the $300 million transportation package passed earlier this year by the Oregon House and Senate.

"It might have stopped the free fall, but for a worker who has fallen behind on his house payments, who can see the end of their meager unemployment benefits -- they aren't getting better, they're getting worse," he said.

"We'd just like to see them free up some of the money for the state hospitals and the new jail they're talking about down there in the Junction City area," said Robert Mercer of Springfield.

Some of the protesters said they're getting frustrated by the lack of work and are getting more and more worried about how they'll be able to take care of their family.

"Work's just been really slow and we need work," Daniel Hall of Eugene said. "We need to feed our families. We need our insurance. I have medical issues and I don't have insurance because I'm not working. We just need to get this going."