Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

April 21, 2007 09:00 ET

Canadian Labour Congress/REMINDER: "When Are 250,000 Lost Jobs A Crisis?-Now!" Georgetti Says

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 21, 2007) - In reaction to the statements of Canada's Minister of the Environment, John Baird, to the Senate Committee, Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress says: "I am astounded to hear the Minister of the Environment describing the hypothetical loss of 250,000 good-paying jobs in the manufacturing, forestry and processing sectors as a looming crisis. Because three weeks ago, the same number of jobs loss did not warrant any government concern."

"On March 28, along with the leaders of Canada's largest private sector unions, I met with the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Industry and the Minister of Labour about the fact that since November 2002, Canadians have suffered a net loss of over 250,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector. They acknowledged that they see the same numbers that we see but they did not see them as a crisis."

Statistics Canada recently concluded that Canadian workers displaced by firm closures and mass layoffs who find other jobs suffer an average decline of 25% in annual earnings, implying a loss of about $10,000 for a typical manufacturing worker. Given the disappearance of one-quarter of a million manufacturing jobs, the total loss of Canadian earnings is now probably around $2.5 billion annually.

"This is why I can say in confidence that everyone feels there is a crisis," explains Georgetti calling once again on the government to work together with labour and employers towards an action plan to sustain the creation and the protection of good jobs that pay good wages.

"Such an action plan for jobs should include realistic measures to deal with climate change while also protecting workers. A plan like the one currently offered in Bill C-30 that includes support for green job creation, Just Transition for affected workers, and room for labour input."

"Canadians are experiencing massive job losses now. Instead of fretting on hypothetical jobs losses relating to policies it doesn't like, the federal government should focus on the real job losses and start reviewing its own policy choices when it comes to trade, investment, taxation and skills training," says Georgetti.

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 135 district labour councils. Web site: www.canadianlabour.ca

Contact Information

  • Jean Wolff
    613-526-7431 and 613-878-6040
    or
    Jeff Atkinson
    613-526-7425 and 613-863-1413