Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff speaks during a news conference about pay equity in Ottawa, Wednesday October 31, 2018. One of the country’s largest labour organizations is launching a campaign to coincide with Labour Day to push the Trudeau Liberals for changes to the federal social safety net. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Workers groups mark Labour Day with push for changes in Liberals’ throne speech

Labour Day itself normally includes marches through major cities, picnics and gatherings,

One of the country’s largest labour organizations is launching a campaign to coincide with Labour Day to push the Trudeau Liberals for changes to the federal social safety net.

The Canadian Labour Congress is hoping the government widens planned changes to the employment insurance system to provide jobless benefits to any worker in the country even after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

Congress president Hassan Yussuff says many workers and families would not have survived financially so far had it not been for federal aid like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or the wage subsidy.

He also says the labour group will be pushing the government on skills and apprenticeship training particularly to help youth, and a strategy to help visible minorities and immigrants more easily access federal unemployment benefits.

He calls the requests practical steps the Liberal government could lay out in the throne speech to better prepare the country should a similar economic crisis occur in the future.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that the country gained back 246,000 jobs in August, meaning we’re still down 1.1 million of the three million jobs lost over March and April.

Labour Day itself normally includes marches through major cities, picnics and gatherings, but the pandemic has scuttled many of those plans for this year. In their place may be some car parades, Yussuff says, and virtual gatherings.

He says this particular Labour Day is one to note how many workers stayed on the job as others were ordered home during lockdowns, citing grocery-store workers, truckers, meat-packers and long-term care home employees, as well as other front-line health care workers.

“This is a moment when the country gets to reflect how can we do better to ensure all workers in this country are treated fairly and decently and, more importantly, they are compensated for the work that they do,” Yussuff said in an interview.

“We know we have gaps, we know we have many issues and what we’re hoping to get the federal government to address in the throne speech is how do we address some of these things to make this country truly a better place for working people (and) for all Canadians.”

READ MORE: Canada’s economic optimism crippled by pandemic, Pew poll suggests

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusLabourLiberals

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon author’s book describes how child’s death transforms mother’s life

Destanne Norris to hold book signings in Vernon and Salmon Arm

Vernon Mounties probe white supremacy propaganda

Slips leading people to websites boasting extreme ideology were strewn about local school yards Sept. 30

Sports back at play in Vernon schools

Gymnasiums opened up within the district for school-organized sports only

Outbreak at Vernon care facility not COVID-19

Scenario C respiratory illness outbreak declared Sept. 25 by Interior Health

Crash limits Highway 6 traffic near Lumby

Another crash reported by DriveBC following morning logging truck rollover

B.C. starts October with 82 more positive COVID-19 tests

10,899 tests a record for a single day, Bonnie Henry says

Two new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Five cases remain linked to an outbreak at Calvary Chapel in Kelowna

Out of the shadows: Illuminating Revelstoke’s overdose crisis

The city has one of the highest illicit drug death rates per capita in B.C.

Missing mushroom picker in northern B.C. found dead

Witset elder found deceased in Price Creek area more than two weeks after he vanished

BC Greens focus on long-term care reform in first platform promise

Greens have promised to move away from the for-profit care home model

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘It’s a nightmare’: Northern B.C. family desperate after living in hotel for a year

Renae Podgorney says because of a lack of rentals, she’s now applying to rent a one-bedroom unit

Mitchell’s Musings: Predictions, politics and pandemics

Columnist Glenn Mitchell offers some random thoughts on current affairs

Costs climb to more than $100K for BC SPCA to care for animals in B.C. farm seizure

Eight puppies, of the 97 animals seized have now died from parvovirus enteritis

Most Read