Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

October 08, 2009 09:15 ET

CLC Supports Bill C-50 But Georgetti Wants More Reform of Employment Insurance

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 8, 2009) - Parliament should pass Bill C-50 to help long-tenured workers who have been laid off, but the Employment Insurance system is still in desperate need of more comprehensive reform to help people who have been thrown out of work, says the Canadian Labour Congress.

"The EI program leaves far too many Canadians out in the cold," says CLC President Ken Georgetti. "Let's pass this legislation then get right back to work to introduce a uniform EI entrance requirement of 360 hours in all regions, and increase benefits for all unemployed workers. These people have to support themselves and their families while they search for new jobs."

Georgetti appears on October 8 before a House of Commons committee hearing presentations on Bill C-50, which would amend the Employment Insurance Act. The Bill's provisions would extend benefits to long-tenured workers and will help to stabilize the local economies of many hard-hit communities. But Georgetti says that much more remains to be done. "Only half of all unemployed workers qualify for EI, and the average weekly benefit is only about $50 a day before taxes," Georgetti says. "Tens of thousands of unemployed workers have exhausted their benefits and will end up on provincial social assistance."

He says that Ottawa has collected $57 billion more in EI premiums than it has paid out in benefits to unemployed Canadians. "The government can't plead poverty now. Workers paid those premiums in the belief that EI was their protection against a rainy day," says Georgetti. "That rainy day has now arrived and unemployed workers need a hand up."

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.2 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils. Web site: www.canadianlabour.ca

Contact Information

  • Dennis Gruending
    Communications
    613-526-7431 or 613-878-6040 (cell.)