Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

May 01, 2013 15:18 ET

CUPE asks for labour representation on the Atlantic EI changes impacts review panel launched by Atlantic Premiers

WOLFVILLE, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - May 1, 2013) - CUPE National President Paul Moist, CUPE New Brunswick President Daniel Légère, CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador President Wayne Lucas, CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh and CUPE Prince Edward Island President Lori MacKay are supporting the Atlantic Premiers' demand for a suspension of the Harper's government EI changes. The cuts to the program are having negative impact on workers all across Canada, especially seasonal workers in the Atlantic region.

CUPE welcomes the Premiers' decision to conduct a comprehensive study of the consequences of the EI reform on the workforce and economy of the region. They note though that the composition of that review panel must be balanced and include a representative of the labour movement.

Attached is the letter sent by CUPE leaders today to the four Atlantic premiers.

CUPE welcomes Premiers united position opposing EI changes

Dear Premiers:

It is with great pleasure that we learned of the united efforts; launched between all Atlantic premiers to counter the negative impacts that the Harper government's changes to Employment Insurance are having on workers in the Atlantic region. Your joint demand for a suspension of the EI cuts will add to the pressure put on the federal government to reconsider its reform. Thank you for the public stand you have taken on an issue that is affecting workers all across Canada.

The federal government decided to implement changes to EI without real consultation with stakeholders and without any analysis of the consequences of the reform on the workforce and the economy. Your common front decision to conduct a comprehensive study of the impacts of the EI changes on Atlantic workers will also be extremely useful.

To maximize the weight of such a study, we think it is important to ensure that the composition of the review committee be balanced. To that effect, we strongly suggest that a representative of the labour movement be appointed to that panel. For the good of the workers in the Atlantic region, we are confident that you will unanimously agree on the legitimacy of that request.

We also recommend that this study be conducted in an open way, with public consultation meetings being held in all regions of the four Atlantic provinces. Citizens and groups must have a voice, both at public meetings and through written briefs.

Finally, the review panel study should include recommendations on how to strengthen the EI system for the benefits of workers - especially women - their families and their communities. CUPE will be pleased to contribute its views on how to improve EI during that consultation process.

In closing, we want to assure you that you can count on CUPE and its members to continue political action regionally and nationally with the objective of scraping the EI changes imposed by the Harper Conservative government.

Yours truly,

PAUL MOIST, CUPE National President

DANNY CAVANAGH, President, CUPE Nova Scotia

DANIEL LÉGÈRE, President, CUPE New Brunswick

WAYNE LUCAS, President, CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador

LORI MacKAY, President, CUPE Prince Edward Island

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