Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

February 03, 2006 16:21 ET

Jobs: Canada Needs a Plan, Canadian Labour Calls for Co-Ordinated Response to Job Market Crisis

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 3, 2006) - The Canadian Labour Congress calls on Prime Minister-elect Stephen Harper to work with labour, employers and other levels of governments towards an employment strategy to secure family-supporting jobs for working Canadians well into the future.

In a letter to the incoming Prime Minister triggered by yesterday's announcement of the pending loss of 1,200 jobs due to the closure of the Michelin tire plant in Kitchener, Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress explains that "about 200,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost since the Canadian dollar began to appreciate against the US dollar in 2002, and many more layoffs and plant closures are on the way. Closures and major layoffs in the forest and auto sector, among others, are pending. The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association expects another 100,000 jobs to be lost this year."

"Canada needs a plan, a jobs strategy. The Canadian Labour Congress believes we are facing a major employment-market adjustment crisis which demands a serious and co-ordinated response by all levels of government working closely with labour and employers," Ken Georgetti writes.

"Our economy is only superficially healthy. The fact of the matter is that the newly created jobs are not good jobs. They will not provide working Canadians with the quality of life that they have with the industrial jobs which are being lost. Most manufacturing jobs being lost are those of full-time employees with average or above average wages, but two-thirds of the new jobs created last year were either temporary or self-employed, and most were created in low wage sectors. The good jobs being created by the energy boom in some parts of the country are relatively few by comparison."

In conclusion Georgetti calls for an urgent meeting with the new Prime Minister: "Because the January 23 election was very much about "working Canadians" and "working families," I hope it will be possible to meet with you within days, to start building a plan to secure family-supporting jobs for working Canadians for years and years."

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 137 district labour councils. Web site: www.canadianlabour.ca.

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