Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

October 25, 2016 11:07 ET

Prime Minister Trudeau tells young union activists he'll keep his election promises

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 25, 2016) - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to keep his election promises amid tough questions from more than 400 delegates at the Canadian Labour Congress' Young Workers Summit in Ottawa today.

The questions ranged from trade to pipelines and the environment, from the Phoenix payroll system and public sector bargaining to the need for accessible child care and good quality, secure jobs for young workers.

While some delegates protested the Prime Minister, the majority applauded his willingness to take questions from the room.

"Thank you for challenging me," the Prime Minister said. "I need you to continue to challenge me, and I will keep my promises."

Delegates pressed the Prime Minister about a statement by Finance Minister Bill Morneau asserting that young workers have to get used to the "job churn" - meaning a future without lifelong, stable careers.

"Moving from job to job to job creates a lot of instability and insecurity," said Amy Huziak, the CLC's national representative for young workers.

"What can we do together to ensure that young workers have decent jobs instead?" she asked the Prime Minister.

"Prime Minister Trudeau promised legislative support for workers stuck in precarious jobs and we intend to hold him to that commitment," said CLC President Hassan Yussuff. "He's already worked with labour to strengthen the Canada Pension Plan, and we look forward to doing the same for labour laws across the country."

Asked about collective bargaining, the Prime Minister emphasized his government's support for unions and the tabling of bill C-4, which will repeal the Conservative government's anti-union laws C-525 and C-377.

"We believe in collective bargaining; we believe in what happens at the table," said Prime Minister Trudeau.

"There's many issues this government will have to deal with and we're committed to holding their feet to the fire, but I want to thank the Prime Minister for coming this morning to hear the perspectives of young workers," said Yussuff.

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