Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

June 14, 2007 16:04 ET

CLC: Finally! Wage Protection Law Moves Closer to Reality

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 14, 2007) - Basic wages and pension contributions' protections for workers when their employer goes bankrupt are closer to reality. The political logjam that has held up long-awaited wage protection legislation for working Canadians finally broke this afternoon. The House of Commons passed amendments to a law originally adopted in the previous Parliament.

"On behalf of all wage earners, the Canadian Labour Congress welcomes this move and urges the Senate to match the all-party agreement that made today's progress in the House of Commons possible and pass the amendments without delay," says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress.

"This legislation was developed and spearheaded by the Canadian Labour Congress. We have relentlessly pushed to get it through the House in 2005. Then we had to pressure government and opposition parties to come to a consensus on the amendments that will make it work."

"Finally, workers can look forward to desperately-needed protection of their wages and vacation benefits when their employer goes bankrupt, become insolvent or moves to restructuring. They no longer have to fear the prospect of losing earnings owed to them while dealing with the blow of the loss of their jobs," explains Georgetti.

Georgetti expressed hope that the federal government would quickly establish the new wage earners protection measures that, among other things, include:

- Protection of wages: Ensuring that workers get compensation for their unpaid wages which will guarantee payments to employees for any unpaid wages and vacation earned, but not paid, up to a maximum of $3,000, at the time their employer enters bankruptcy or receivership under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

- Protection of pension contributions: Ensuring that arrears in regular pension contributions that have not been remitted to the pension plan by the employers constitute a priority charge over all assets ahead of secured creditors.

"Canadians have been waiting a long time for these protection measures. Over the last three federal elections, workers and their unions have campaigned for similar measures. Today marks a good new beginning and tomorrow can be better. We must keep reminding the decision makers in Ottawa that working people make up the majority of Canada's citizens, and that Canada does better when working people prosper," concludes 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 136 district labour councils. Web site: www.canadianlabour.ca

Contact Information

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