Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

September 14, 2009 16:30 ET

Canadian Labour Congress: Government's EI Announcement Helpful But Limited

Georgetti says changes will not touch most of the unemployed

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 14, 2009) - The Conservative government's planned changes to the Employment Insurance program are welcome but they will not help most of Canada's unemployed workers, says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress.

Georgetti was responding to an announcement by Human Resources Minister Diane Finley that the government intends to provide temporary, additional EI benefits to workers who have worked and paid into EI for seven of the past ten years and who collected no more than 35 weeks of benefits in the last five years.

"We have been pushing the government relentlessly to improve the EI program and it appears that they are starting to get the message," Georgetti says. "The government's proposed changes will help a group of mostly older workers and we're pleased about that. But all of the unemployed need better access to the EI system, no matter where they live and work in Canada, and they need better benefits."

There are 1.6 million unemployed workers in Canada and only about 50% of them are receiving EI benefits. Georgetti says "the measures announced today won't touch most of the unemployed, including younger workers or mothers who worked part time."

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:

Contact Information

  • Dennis Gruending
    CLC Communications
    613-878-6040 (cell.)