Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

November 07, 2006 12:59 ET

CLC: Labour Urges Support for EI Reform, Denounces Premium Cuts

Georgetti calls for support for Bill C-269

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 7, 2006) - Rather than make an ill-advised cut of a few cents to employment insurance premiums, the federal government should do the right thing and find ways to make the EI program work better for the millions of Canadians who pay for it.

"We need to fix the EI program to provide assistance to the growing numbers of unemployed workers, and to help move them to new jobs through training," says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. "This would benefit the country far more than cutting premiums."

Some business lobbyists have convincingly hounded the government for months to cut premiums.

"They don't care that nearly two-thirds of the workers who pay for insurance fail to qualify for benefits when they are in need. Nor are they interested in making the program work better by offering or funding badly-needed training."

"Responsible employers should join with workers and call on the government to support the progressive changes proposed in Bill C-269 that is on the agenda of the House of Commons this week. Bill C-269 offers a vision of an Employment Insurance program that works for workers and for the long-term economic interests of the country."

Georgetti explains that Bill C-269 essentially brings forward the recommendations supported by all parties in the 2005 Report of the parliamentary committee on Human Resources. These proposals, which match the Canadian Labour Congress' own call for modernization of EI, have unfortunately been ignored to date by the current and previous government.

"Think about it. We could have an EI Program that works for the benefit of nearly a million more working families or we could hand employers a few pennies every week. Government should just say no to the selfish demands of some business sectors and explore better ideas, like those proposed in Bill C-269," 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:

Contact Information

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