Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff speaks during a news conference about pay equity in Ottawa, Wednesday October 31, 2018. One of the country’s largest labour organizations is launching a campaign to coincide with Labour Day to push the Trudeau Liberals for changes to the federal social safety net. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Workers groups mark Labour Day with push for changes in Liberals’ throne speech

Labour Day itself normally includes marches through major cities, picnics and gatherings,

One of the country’s largest labour organizations is launching a campaign to coincide with Labour Day to push the Trudeau Liberals for changes to the federal social safety net.

The Canadian Labour Congress is hoping the government widens planned changes to the employment insurance system to provide jobless benefits to any worker in the country even after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

Congress president Hassan Yussuff says many workers and families would not have survived financially so far had it not been for federal aid like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or the wage subsidy.

He also says the labour group will be pushing the government on skills and apprenticeship training particularly to help youth, and a strategy to help visible minorities and immigrants more easily access federal unemployment benefits.

He calls the requests practical steps the Liberal government could lay out in the throne speech to better prepare the country should a similar economic crisis occur in the future.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that the country gained back 246,000 jobs in August, meaning we’re still down 1.1 million of the three million jobs lost over March and April.

Labour Day itself normally includes marches through major cities, picnics and gatherings, but the pandemic has scuttled many of those plans for this year. In their place may be some car parades, Yussuff says, and virtual gatherings.

He says this particular Labour Day is one to note how many workers stayed on the job as others were ordered home during lockdowns, citing grocery-store workers, truckers, meat-packers and long-term care home employees, as well as other front-line health care workers.

“This is a moment when the country gets to reflect how can we do better to ensure all workers in this country are treated fairly and decently and, more importantly, they are compensated for the work that they do,” Yussuff said in an interview.

“We know we have gaps, we know we have many issues and what we’re hoping to get the federal government to address in the throne speech is how do we address some of these things to make this country truly a better place for working people (and) for all Canadians.”

READ MORE: Canada’s economic optimism crippled by pandemic, Pew poll suggests

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusLabourLiberals

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

A Secret Santa program through First Insurance – The Co-operators isn’t happening this year. Black Press file photo
Courtenay insurance company’s Secret Santa a no-go this year

First Insurance – The Co-operators program has run for almost 20 years

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read