Canada’s unions welcome extension of EI and recovery benefits

Canada’s unions welcome the extension to income supports announced by the federal government today as a necessary step towards providing further financial security to those who need it. The government announced 12-week extensions for both the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), as well as an additional 24 weeks of eligibility for Employment Insurance. “This will…
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Too many people are struggling to pay for their medications

By Hassan Yussuff, Doug Roth, Linda Silas, as published in Toronto Star   A silent health crisis is looming as more people struggle to pay for their prescription drugs. Even before the pandemic, the statistics were staggering. About 7.5 million citizens—one in five Canadians—either did not have prescription drug insurance or had inadequate insurance to cover their medication needs. One…
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Latest job numbers point to need for urgent extension of EI benefits and job retraining

OTTAWA – Canada’s unions are urgently calling on the federal government to extend EI and recovery benefits along with increasing support for skills retraining as workers continue to struggle with rising unemployment. Following higher than expected job losses at the end of 2020, workers faced another large drop in employment, with 213,000 jobs lost last month. “We’ve lost the small…
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EI for the 21st Century

Canada’s Employment Insurance (EI) program is falling short. Over the past year, the shortcomings of the program have become all the more clear. EI needs to be reformed to match the current reality of the world of work. Read our recommendations for EI reform here.
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End-of-year unemployment data shows need for continued support for workers

“Even as the vaccine roll-out begins, we can see that the tough times aren’t behind us yet,” said Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff. “The end-of-year unemployment data remind us that strong government support continues to be a vital lifeline for workers and their families who are struggling through the economic shock of the pandemic.” The December Labour Force Survey,…
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Lessons from 2020: The pandemic brought out the best in Canada’s workers

“Canada’s unions are marking the end of 2020 by looking back on all that has been accomplished to protect workers and their families through the COVID-19 pandemic. The world has been forever changed, but people across Canada have come together to focus on our collective good. Though the pandemic is not over and there is continued uncertainty, I have no…
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Canada’s unions call for pathway to permanent residency for all migrant workers

Canada’s unions are marking International Migrants Day by calling on the federal government to offer a pathway to permanent residency to all migrant workers who wish to apply. The federal government recently announced that it will be accepting applications for permanent residence from refugee claimants working in the healthcare sector. This important announcement recognizes the crucial contributions refugee workers have…
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Canada’s unions welcome new bill to adopt Indigenous rights framework

Canada’s unions welcome the federal government’s recent announcement and subsequent tabling of a bill to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), a commitment which was to be fulfilled before the end of the year. The new bill, Bill C-15, comes four years after former NDP MP Romeo Saganash introduced Bill C-262, a similar private…
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Canada’s unions welcome federal government commitments on climate change

OTTAWA – Coming on the heels of the government’s climate accountability legislation, today’s 2030 climate emissions reduction plan contains significant announcements for working people. Expanded investments in energy efficiency, conservation and large-scale retrofitting of residential and commercial structures will create significant numbers of new jobs and require expanded investments in skills training and growing Canada’s construction trades. Green and climate-resilient…
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Human Rights Day: equitable COVID-19 recovery requires investment in care

Canada’s unions are marking International Human Rights Day by calling for long-term investments in the care sector. “Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights” is the United Nations theme for this year’s International Human Rights Day, which is observed December 10. “It is critical that Canada’s COVID-19 recovery efforts tackle the human rights failures that have been exposed by…
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Latest job numbers signal bleak winter ahead

OTTAWA – Canada’s unions are raising the alarm that many workers are facing a bleak winter of unemployment and under-employment with no immediate relief in sight. November’s labour force survey released today by Statistics Canada showed high rates of long-term unemployment. A total of 1.5 million people are currently unemployed and looking for work; 400,000 have been without work for…
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Darryl Flasch – Winner of the 2020 Carol McGregor CLC Disability Rights Award

Every year on December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Canadian Labour Congress will recognize a union member for their disability rights activism. This award is named in honour of Carol McGregor, an outstanding disability rights activist, member of BCGEU/NUPGE and the CLC Disability Rights Working Group―and who was much loved by all those who worked with…
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Workers with disabilities must help shape Canada’s Disability Inclusion Strategy

Canada’s unions are marking December 3 – the International Day for Persons with Disabilities –by calling on the federal government to include persons with disabilities in Canada’s economic recovery strategy. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada’s unions have collaborated with disability rights coalitions like the Include Me Campaign, to highlight the unique challenges and barriers faced by persons…
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Canada’s unions mark World AIDS Day by calling for universal pharmacare

Canada’s unions are marking World AIDS Day by calling on the federal government to implement single-payer, universal pharmacare. This call has taken on new urgency, given that millions of workers have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and are now struggling to pay for their prescription medications. World AIDS Day is observed every year on December 1, in support of…
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Fiscal update’s emphasis on investments will spare Canadians further economic hardship and spur recovery

Canada’s unions say the federal government’s fiscal update will help the nation’s workers weather current health and economic hardships through the pandemic. Today’s update extends critical income support and economic measures to help Canadians and businesses. While today’s commitments on key priorities remain modest and reflect past promises, the government has signalled it will make further investments as the recovery…
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Canada’s unions to respond to federal government’s fiscal update

Canada’s unions will be responding to the federal government’s Economic and Fiscal Snapshot, scheduled for Monday, November 30. Canada’s unions have been calling for targeted federal investments to help workers and their families get through the pandemic and to ensure a swift economic rebound and recovery. Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress, will be available to comment once…
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Canada’s unions call for a National Action plan on Gender-Based Violence

Canada’s unions are marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women by calling on the federal government to establish a National Action Plan on Violence against Women and Gender-based Violence. The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – observed every year on November 25 – also marks the start of 16 Days of Activism…
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Federal government’s new bill on climate change an important step on the hard road ahead

Canada’s unions are welcoming the tabling of new federal legislation that puts the country on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. However, there is much work to do to get there, said Hassan Yussuff, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. “This bill provides a solid path towards reaching Canada’s targets. That being said, it will take…
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CLC joins global unions in calling on G20 leaders to lay foundation for a New Social Contract

The Canadian Labour Congress joins trade unions from around the world to urge leaders of the G20 to heed the call from the Labour 20 Group to take all necessary measures to contain and eliminate the pandemic and lay the foundation for a New Social Contract as the cornerstone for ensuring recovery and resilience. The L20 statement to the G20…
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Canada’s unions say slowing job recovery necessitates urgent government intervention

Canada’s job growth is showing signs of slowdown and Canada’s unions are calling on the federal government to quickly lay out its plan to stem long-term unemployment. The latest figures from this morning’s release of Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey demonstrates a weakening jobs rebound. The survey showed a slowing recovery, with employment rising just 0.5 percent in October, a…
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Canada’s unions launch nation’s first-ever virtual lobby week

OTTAWA – Hundreds of workers from communities across Canada are meeting virtually with their MPs this week, part of the country’s first-ever national Action Week, organized by Canada’s unions. Participants will be calling on elected representatives to push for federal investments towards job creation, health care and child care, among other necessary programs. Over 200 meetings are scheduled. “The pandemic…
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Canada’s unions welcome increased federal immigration targets

Ottawa – Canada’s unions are applauding the federal government’s announcement today that it plans to welcome more than 1.2 million immigrants to Canada over the next three years. The proposed plan will bring skilled workers, family members and refugees to Canada between 2021 and 2023. “For many years, Canada’s unions have called on the government to increase immigration targets. We…
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Canada’s unions hosting virtual Action Week

People from across Canada will be lobbying MPs next week, in the first large-scale virtual lobbying event since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic exposed deep disparities and vulnerabilities in our economy and society. It has also radically changed the lives of people across Canada. Workers want the federal government to disaster-proof the economy by committing to investments…
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Canada’s unions join Global Day of Action on Care

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the vulnerability of Canada’s care system. On October 29, Canada’s unions are joining together the International Trade Union Confederation and global unions for a Global Day of Action on Care. Workers around the world want investment in public health and care services including mental health, child care, early childhood education, elderly care and other social care…
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Canada’s unions welcome employment gains, but urge continued focus on jobs

OTTAWA – Canada’s unions welcome the job gains reported in the September findings from Statistics Canada’s monthly labour force survey released today, but are warning that expanded government investment will remain crucial to a full economic recovery. “Despite ongoing gains, the latest numbers continue to signal medium-term risks to Canada’s labour market,” said Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour…
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Canada’s unions have a plan to move us forward

By Hassan Yussuff, as published in The Hill Times As we transition from reacting to COVID-19 to living with the virus, Canada’s unions are providing a clear blueprint for a robust recovery that leaves no one behind and addresses the inequities laid bare by the pandemic. Workers and their families have been hit hard by this crisis. Practically overnight, millions…
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A robust immigration system is key to our recovery

By Hassan Yussuff, as published in The Province COVID-19 has forced rethinks on many aspects of our lives that we previously took for granted. That includes thinking about how our communities function, and specifically about who ensures that they continue to, even in times of upheaval. This has brought more visibility to the workers who many of us don’t often…
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Canada’s unions: Throne Speech signals commitment to invest in workers

OTTAWA – Canada’s unions welcome the policy direction the government has laid out in today’s Speech from the Throne, with a focus on investing in job creation and social programs that will support those most impacted by the pandemic. “The government is making it clear that it is listening to the concerns of workers and their families by recognizing that…
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Canada’s unions call for a feminist recovery plan

Canada’s unions are marking Gender Equality Week by calling on the federal government to ensure a recovery plan that is rooted in equity and leaves no one behind. This year’s week-long commemoration is happening against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Speech from the Throne. “This pandemic has laid bare the gender inequities in our society,” said Marie…
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Throne speech must move the country forward

OTTAWA – Canada’s unions are calling on the federal government to make firm commitments towards investing in the country’s economic recovery in the upcoming Speech from the Throne. “Social programs like national pharmacare and child care will help to rectify structural inequities that this pandemic has made all the more clear,” said Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress.…
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Canada’s unions celebrate BC court rejection of private health care

OTTAWA – Canada’s unions applaud the decision by the BC Supreme Court to uphold the integrity of the country’s single-payer health care system. The Cambie Surgeries Centre case put Canada’s public medicare system on trial and threatened the principle of universal and equal access to health care. The court’s decision to reject the arguments made by Dr. Brian Day is a…
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The fate of Canada’s workers is intertwined with COVID-19

By Hassan Yussuff, as published in The Globe and Mail Last year, workers in Canada marked the 100th anniversary of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike. It was the largest labour uprising in the country’s history and paved the way for reforms that redefined fair and safe working conditions across the nation. Yet, in all the commemorations, a major part of…
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Canada, let’s do better

By Hassan Yussuff, as published in the Toronto Star As we continue to cope with the challenges of COVID-19, we must recognize the opportunity presented by such massive upheaval, and move to implement deep social change in our communities. We must re-imagine what our society can be and re-shape the country to address long ignored inequities – inequities that this…
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On Labour Day, the nation’s unions launch a plan to disaster-proof Canada

Ottawa – To mark Labour Day, Canada’s unions are calling on all levels of government to focus on investments and community supports to help restart our economies and protect Canadians. Forward Together: A Canadian Plan is a new campaign centred on ensuring that Canada is ready to disaster-proof our nation so that no one is left behind when crisis hits.…
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Labour Day Events 2020

September 7 marks Labour Day, one of the most important days on the calendar for workers. This year we will be celebrating differently. We can’t gather for the usual parades and celebrations because of COVID-19 safety restrictions, so we are inviting you to celebrate online. Find a virtual event near you: Newfoundland Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour Live streamed…
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Canada’s unions encouraged by EI reforms

OTTAWA – The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) welcomes today’s federal government announcement that it will extend the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), introduce much needed reforms to Employment Insurance (EI) to provide better protections for the country’s unemployed workers including the introduction of a minimum floor on benefits, and provide 10 paid sick days. Millions of people have been relying…
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Labour’s vision for the 2021 federal budget

Canada is in the midst of an economic crisis that has disproportionately affected low-paid, vulnerable workers in precarious employment, especially women, young workers, newcomers, workers of colour and workers with disabilities. Federal fiscal policy measures must prioritize helping Canadians return to decent jobs. This means expanding access to training and apprenticeship opportunities. Canada’s unions believe the federal government should use…
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‘Safe Restart’ agreement helps pave the path forward

OTTAWA – Canada’s unions are welcoming the inclusion of job-protected sick leave in the ‘Safe Restart’ agreement reached between the federal, provincial and territorial governments. “We were very glad to see sick leave specifically mentioned in this agreement,” said Canadian Labour Congress President, Hassan Yussuff. “Canada’s unions have been fighting for paid sick leave for all workers. This ensures that…
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Canada’s unions urge government to stay on fiscal track

OTTAWA – The fiscal update released today shows that there is still room for economic expansion by the federal government. Canada’s approach so far has been measured and proportionate, with spending in line with other G7 countries. “A single deficit number does not tell the full story. If we look at the total debt to GDP ratio, Canada is still…
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Government must continue to invest in workers and families

In anticipation of today’s fiscal update, Canada’s unions are calling on the federal government to hold steady on investing in the nation’s workers. The federal government moved quickly to respond to the economic fallout precipitated by COVID-19. Since March, the government has spent heavily on a variety of programs that ensure workers and businesses received support throughout this crisis. “The…
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Canada’s unions welcome extension of income supports

OTTAWA – Canada’s unions welcome the expansion of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which will come as a relief to the millions of Canadians who can’t yet return to work. “This is very good news for the millions of Canadians who still don’t have a job they can go back to and were growing concerned about paying their bills,”…
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