Focus on jobs and working families' priorities -- CLC

Canadian Labour Congress says federal politicians need to get their priorities straight when Parliament resumes next week

OTTAWA - "The priority is political climate change!” says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress as he lays out what Canadian working families expect from their Members of Parliament, as they prepare to resume their sessions next week.

"Talking about the environment, in the labour movement we often say that there are no jobs on a dead planet. It is also true that to continually ignore the issues of this country's human resources will not improve our environmental circumstances. Working people must be included in the decision-making.”

"Why not change the thrust of the national conversation and start talking about working people for a change? The current national debate on climate change would be more meaningful if it focussed on working people and their families. No serious plan is possible that does not include workplaces and working people,” asks Georgetti.

On behalf of the 3.2 million members of the Canadian Labour Congress and their families, Georgetti wants Parliament to:

  • Focus on crafting a Canadian jobs strategy to secure the creation of good jobs that pay family-supporting wages; to stimulate the creation of 'green jobs" and provide just transition for workers that are displaced by new environmental technologies and to end women's economic inequality. - Canadians want to replace the good jobs being lost in manufacturing, forestry, pulp and paper, and technology with secure, stable and well-paid employment.

  • Establish a Canadian program of job training and skills development to ensure that workers, of all ages, are not out-skilled in the competitive global economy. Such a program should include provisions of income supplements so people could temporarily leave their job and participate in those programs?

  • Ensure balance and fairness in collective bargaining with the adoption of the legislation prohibiting replacement workers legislation, Bill C-257.

  • Finalize the adoption of the Wage Earner Protection Program to provide protection of wages and pension contributions when an employer is insolvent or restructuring.

  • Protect workers" pensions and assure the dignity and economic security of older Canadians. Canada urgently needs a new vision for retirement security.

  • Move on a country-wide pharmacare strategy so every Canadian, particularly our seniors, has an affordable access to necessary prescription drugs.

  • Ensure quality child care and early learning so every child has the same opportunity in life.

“These are the priorities. Canadian working people want to remind every and all elected officials that they should focus on our priorities: because we who work for wages are the majority. The majority of their constituents. The majority of voters and by far and away their largest source of tax revenue.”

“Action on these priorities would change our political climate, bringing Parliament on the side of working Canadians.”