Canada’s unions welcome government aid for workers

March 18, 2020

OTTAWA – The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) is pleased with measures announced today by the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance to help Canadian families deal with the major upheaval the country is facing.

Vulnerable workers are at the front lines of the current crisis, in our hospitals, grocery stores and pharmacies, making sure Canadians have access to the food and medications they need to get through COVID-19 closures.

At the same time, in the days and weeks ahead, thousands of Canadians may be told their place of employment is shutting down and they no longer have an income. This financial aid package will help deliver money directly to the workers who need it most.

“The only way out of this crisis is through solidarity and support for each other, it’s what we do best,” said Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress. “We look forward to working with the government in the coming days and weeks to ensure no one gets left behind.”

Canada’s unions have called for direct income supports for those not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI), like the Emergency Support Benefit and Emergency Care Benefit announced today.

The Prime Minister has indicated that these actions are part of the first phase of government intervention that will be needed to ensure Canadians get the support they need throughout this crisis.

“We are very glad to hear both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance say that our government is prepared to do more,” continued Yussuff. “This signals that they are ready to be more ambitious, and we believe they will have to be very soon, to continue to adequately respond to this crisis.”

It is good to see Canada’s banks announcing steps to allow flexibility for mortgage payments, which will be a huge relief for many families, and Canada’s unions are calling for flexibility across the board for rent, utilities and bill payments.

You can learn more about direct actions the CLC has asked the government and employers to consider here.

To arrange an interview, please contact:

CLC Media Relations
media@clcctc.ca
613-526-7426

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