Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

August 24, 2007 09:30 ET

CLC: It's Time for Canada's "Quiet Majority" to Turn Up the Volume

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 24, 2007) - The Canadian Labour Congress is calling on everyone who works for wages to contact all their elected representatives and tell them to focus on providing good jobs, with wages and benefits, for working people.

"Hard-working Canadians want good jobs with good wages and benefits to raise their families, because the true strength of the country rests on the quality of life of its workers," says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress in a Labour Day statement released today. (The full text is on the Canadian Labour Congress' web site at canadianlabour.ca).

"The millions of everyday people who work for wages represent the majority of Canada's adult population. As citizens (as well as voters), it's our duty to speak up and demand attention when our elected politicians fail to focus on what is important to us - and very few things are more important than our jobs and dignity in retirement," explains Georgetti.

The Labour Day statement calls for a Made in Canada Jobs Strategy. Over the past five years, Canadians have lost some 300,000 jobs that pay an average of $20.68 per hour (plus benefits and pensions). At the same time, a disproportionate number of the new jobs being created pay much less, with few if any benefits, and very often are insecure, temporary, part-time or of the self-employed variety.

"Is it really too much to ask that every worker has enough money in their pockets to take their family out to dinner once in a while, to enjoy some of what they earn from work instead of owing it all to the bills, the banks and the boss?" asks Georgetti.

Georgetti goes on to ask everyone to take the time over the next few weeks to contact their elected politicians - at all levels, municipal, provincial and federal - to tell them that there are measures they can adopt immediately to improve Canada's jobs situation. Most notably:

- Made in Canada purchasing policies by public institutions;

- Join with labour and business to look at what can be done to improve jobs in specific sectors of the economy or region of the country;

- Stabilize energy costs and adopt strategies to offset the impact of the high Canadian dollar; and

- Raise the minimum wage to $10 per hour, which is just about the poverty line for a single person with no dependents.

"It's time for that great, quiet majority of people who work for wages to turn up the volume and remind our elected representatives who they really work for and what are the real priorities. Too often the voices of a few lobbyists paid by wealthy private interests get heard first," 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 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