OTTAWA – Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress released the following statement on Labour Day:
“Over the past eighteen months, workers and their families have faced unprecedented challenges from a pandemic and fiscal crisis.
“Parents faced the pressure of working from home while dealing with their kids’ schooling. Workers faced the anxiety of being thrown out of work and being forced to turn to lower-paid, precarious jobs in the gig economy just to get by. We all faced the constant worry of trying to keep our loved ones safe and healthy.
“The pandemic also laid bare the inequality in our society. Too many women were forced out of the labour market altogether – pushed to the economic sidelines. Many of these workers are Black, Indigenous, racialized or recent immigrants and migrants. The she-cession isn’t just a catchy phrase, it’s a terrifying reality for so many women today.
“This election comes at a pivotal moment. The recovery provides a unique opportunity to finally address these problems. The choices Canada’s leaders make in the days and weeks to come will resonate for years into the future.
“While today we celebrate the important gains workers and their unions have made, we also commit to making sure the voices of working people are heard loud and clear, during this election and in the months and years that follow.
“Canada’s unions are demanding all parties embrace a recovery plan that includes replacing lost jobs with better ones. A plan for creating good jobs that are permanent, pay a living wage, have benefits and pensions, and are unionized. We know that more good union jobs means less inequality.
“The next crisis is coming, whether health or climate related. We are challenging all parties to work with us to do the hard work now, so Canada is ready when the next crisis comes. This means disaster-proofing Canada’s social safety net; investing in housing and child care, to help make life more affordable for families struggling to make ends meet; and strengthening our public health care through implementing pharmacare and getting profits out of seniors care.
“More than even in this election, political parties are campaigning for the votes of workers. We welcome this attention. But positive rhetoric is not enough if your policies appear to be written by large corporations.
“Canada’s unions will continue to amplify the voices of millions of workers – engaging voters and supporting candidates who put workers at the centre of their recovery plans. And we will be relentless in holding parties to account for policies that leave workers and their families behind.”
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CLC Media Relations