Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

November 28, 2006 15:24 ET

CLC: Time to Face Reality and Come Up with a Jobs Strategy, Georgetti Says

Record Employment Statistics Leave too many Behind

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 28, 2006) - Two new reports prompt the Canadian Labour Congress to renew its call for a national jobs strategy that works for workers, families, communities and country.

On Friday, the "2006 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Canada" from Campaign 2000 brought new evidence of growing poverty, including the finding that 34% of children in poverty live in families where at least one parent worked full-time for the entire year.

Today, the Canadian Association of Food Banks "HungerCount 2006" highlights the disturbing fact that individuals with jobs form the second largest group of people lining up at the food banks' doors. And their numbers are growing.

"Unfortunately, we are not surprised by the disappointing findings of these two striking reports," says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. "Our own research shows that some 27% of Canadian workers are stuck in precarious jobs. Juggling short-term, part-time or self-employed work to make ends meet. Worse, more that 11% of workers receive wages that keep them in poverty."

"The statement, last Thursday, of the federal Finance minister that our economy is doing extremely well, shows serious denial about these realities.

"The federal government must acknowledge that the country has not replaced the 300,000 manufacturing jobs lost over the past four years. They were full-time, high-skill, and paid an average of $21 per hour."

"The country needs a long-term jobs strategy that focuses on the long-term prosperity of working families and community. A strategy that emphasizes investments in skills to raise productivity; that includes living minimum wages in all jurisdictions; that promotes better access to collective bargaining and that raises and enforces our employment standards."

"As a Canadian and as a labour leader, I want a country where no worker who works full-time can be called poor. It's a matter of moral, social and political decency."

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.

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