Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

April 04, 2007 14:00 ET

Canadian Labour Congress: Five Issues. One Question. Who's on Your Side?

Campaign to focus workers' votes kicks off in advance of federal election

LONDON, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 4, 2007) - The Canadian Labour Congress wants working people to ask themselves one important question before they decide who to vote for in the next federal election: "Who's on my side?".

That was the message Hassan Yussuff, the Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Labour Congress, brought to Southwestern Ontario today as he kicked off the 2007 Better Choice campaign - a campaign aimed at the 3.2 million union members who make up the CLC.

"Everyday working people are struggling to hang on to the decent quality of life that a hard day's work is supposed to earn in Canada. We make up the majority of voters, yet the issues that matter to us don't get the attention they deserve from the people we elect to represent us in Ottawa. This has got to change," says Yussuff.

With a federal election that could happen at any time, Yussuff says the time is right to get everyday working people thinking about issues that can make a real difference in their lives, but need more people to champion them in the House of Commons.

The 2007 Better Choice campaign slogan is "Five Issues. One Question. Who's on Your Side?" and asks people to think about jobs, education and training, and pensions as well as the high cost of prescription drugs and the shortage of child care and early learning spaces for working people and their kids.

"We've been waiting for real pension protection, a national jobs strategy and better access to skills training and education for workers for too long. At the same time, many working families are struggling to manage the high cost of prescription drugs or find decent child care and early learning opportunities for their kids. It's time Ottawa listened," says Yussuff.

During the last federal election, the Canadian Labour Congress ran a similar Better Choice campaign aimed at workers in ridings with strong union membership. Asking them to "put working families first", the campaign focussed on pension security, health care, access to training, and a national anti-scab law.

"The campaign struck a nerve and people responded," says Yussuff. "In the ridings where we ran our Better Choice campaign, the candidates were getting asked about our issues at the doorstep and at all-candidates meetings. They had no choice but to tell people where they and the party they were running for stood."

"In fact, more working people came out to vote in the ridings where we ran our Better Choice campaign than came out to vote in the previous election. They realized that the best way to move forward the issues that matter to working people was to elect people who supported those issues, which meant it was important to get out and vote," says Yussuff.

At today's launch, Yussuff unveiled a leaflet he says will be distributed "to workers by workers" in the coming weeks as well as a web site - - people can use to learn more about the campaign's five issues.

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 136 district labour councils. Web site:

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