Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

May 05, 2005 19:29 ET

A Good First Step for Working Families

Proposed ‘Wage Earner Protection Program' Will Redress Injustices Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, News Editor, World News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA--(CCNMatthews - May 5, 2005) - The Canadian Labour Congress salutes as a good first step the 'Wage Earner Protection Program' announced by the Honourable Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing. For years, Canadian labour has advocated a wide-ranging package of innovative measures to ensure workers' interests are protected in the event of business bankruptcy or insolvency; including the establishment of a wage protection fund.

"A federal wage protection fund will provide employees with certainty of payment at a time when they are faced with the uncertainty of finding alternate employment," says Hassan Yussuff, Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Labour Congress. "It will also provide an immediate source of income to replace unpaid earnings."

Yussuff expresses hope that the federal government can indeed act on its "intention to move quickly" to establish this program and make it complete it with the adoption of the following measures:

• Pension protection - Workers retirement income expectations deserve a secured priority creditor status.

• Respect for collective agreements and other executory contracts - Neither the courts nor the trustee should have the power to vacate or amend a collective agreement.

• Notification to workers - An employer should be required to notify their employees' unions that it is in financial trouble, considering filing for bankruptcy or insolvency or that a court proceeding is scheduled.

"Pension are wages, deferred wages," explains Yussuff. "As a society, we have a duty to provide for our workers and our retirees the benefits they are promised after their years of active contributions to their pensions."

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 137 district labour councils. Web site:

Contacts: Jean Wolff, 613-526-7431 and 613-878-6040
Jeff Atkinson, 613-526-7425 and 613-863-1413

Contact Information

  • Jean Wolff, Director, Canadian Labour Congress
    Primary Phone: 613-526-7431
    Secondary Phone: 613-878-6040