OTTAWA – Canada’s unions welcome today’s federal announcement of an expansion of the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to include those who are still making moderate incomes.
“The expansion of the CERB to include those continuing to work in low-income, precarious jobs is an important step,” said Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). “This move will be a relief to many workers who have been struggling and were left out of previous supports. The NDP should be credited with helping to influence this expansion of the emergency benefit.”
The Prime Minister’s announcement of top-up payments for essential workers, including those working in long-term care, is also a necessary move, said Yussuff.
Workers in long-term care often hold multiple part-time positions in different facilities in order to make a decent living. These workers are often without sick leave or benefits of any kind.
“This crisis has made it clear that our society’s essential workers have been grossly undervalued for too long,” said Yussuff. “When we start to re-open the economy, we must work to rectify these structural inequities around compensation and support. We must go to bat for the very workers who are ensuring our society continues to function throughout this pandemic.”
The CERB expansion also includes supports for hundreds of thousands of seasonal workers, Canadians who became unemployed before the COVID crisis and workers who have exhausted their EI claims.
“We will continue to work closely with government and opposition parties to bring attention to the experiences and needs of workers throughout various sectors in order to identity any new or emerging gaps,” said Yussuff.
For more information:
CLC Media Relations