Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

May 31, 2005 13:38 ET

Press government for action now, Georgetti tells union members

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, News Editor, World News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA--(CCNMatthews - May 31, 2005) - In a preview of his speech to more than 2,500 delegates to the triennial Canadian Labour Congress Convention on June 13th in Montreal, President Ken Georgetti urged today the members of the Building Trades to press for more gains from the federal government during the final months of this minority parliament.

The speech signals a step up in efforts by the Canadian Labour Congress to lock in measures that the organization has been working on with federal politicians and officials for months.

"We have a historic opportunity as a labour movement, as working people and citizens, to make gains in federal policies during this minority government's rule. This is our biggest opportunity in decades. We're already seeing evidence of how our influence can translate into budget allocations for programs that are crucial to workers, such as affordable housing, child care or municipal infrastructure. This is a critical time to make gains in several other areas too," says Georgetti.

In response to pressure from the Canadian Labour Congress, the federal government is expected to announce the introduction this week of a bill in the House of Commons that would protect wage earners against employer bankruptcies. "Just like we expect them to pass the two budget bills, every MP, regardless of party affiliation, needs to know that we expect them to pass this bill too. Working people and their families deserve protection of hard-earned wages and pensions won through collective agreements. Judges or bankruptcy trustees shouldn't be able to override collective agreements when employers go bankrupt, especially when other creditors can still step up to the till," said Georgetti.

"We're also looking for new federal action to improve work opportunities in this country. More than one million Canadians are unemployed. Meanwhile, over 100,000 foreign workers are in the country already, and more are being courted for jobs in oil fields, new pipeline development and pre-Olympic Games construction in BC. Federal measures to retrain workers, help them move to new job opportunities, and to protect foreign workers who have very few legal rights in Canada … these are all places where we expect to make gains," said Georgetti.

Georgetti made a clear and direct appeal to the Building Trades members to bring these issues up with their MPs. "Our voices count. And right now, our voices count more than ever, in Ottawa. Let's make sure we use them. Every MP needs to know that Canadian working families expect action on their priorities. It's the job of every one of us to let them know that," said Georgetti.

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: IN: ECONOMY, FINANCE, LABOUR, POLITICS, SOCIAL

Contact Information

  • Jean Wolff, Canadian Labour Congress
    Primary Phone: 613-526-7431
    Secondary Phone: 613-878-6040