OTTAWA – The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) welcomes today’s announcement by the Prime Minister granting workers across the country 10 days paid sick leave.
“Today’s announcement means that frontline workers will no longer be forced to choose between their job and their health,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff. “Right now, it is incredibly important that any worker who has been exposed to COVID-19 can self-quarantine without anxiety of lost wages.”
Canada’s unions have been calling for an increase in paid sick leave for years. Across the country mandated sick leave tends to be unpaid for most workers, leading many to work while sick. The rapid spread of COVID-19 has drawn attention to this issue.
Guaranteed paid sick leave will allow workers to take time to self-isolate without worrying about paying their bills and in turn slow the spread of the virus. From the start of the COVID-19 crisis, the calls for paid sick leave have grown from the labour movement and by the NDP. Today’s announcement is the result of cooperation between the Liberal government and the NDP opposition.
“It is good to see parliament focus on working Canadians during this crisis,” said Yussuff. “We want to congratulate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh for coming to a successful agreement on an important issue.”
Canada’s unions will look for the details of how this announcement will be implemented and continue to raise issues that affect workers during this crisis and once the recovery starts.
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