CAW Council Endorses Emergency E.I. Measures

December 5, 2008

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CAW Council Endorses Emergency E.I. Measures
CAW Council Endorses Emergency E.I. Measures
dated December 5, 2008

David Robertson
CAW Research

       "The crisis of job loss in our communities is overshadowed by all of the headlines about the financial crisis. And that is one of the reasons we want to shift the attention to those of us who are losing their jobs. Workers, right now, need emergency relief. The growing causality list of victimized workers in hard hit communities needs special attention now from our governments."

       The laid off workers had paid for years into the Employment Insurance fund and now find they are denied access to their own money.

Ken Lewenza
CAW President

       "Why is it that the waiting period isn't eliminated? Why aren't the conditions improved. We paid into the program. Do you remember when the economy was going good? They were taking our E.I. money to fight the debt. We need our E.I. money today to ensure that working Canadians and those that fall out as a result of this economic crisis is taken care of."

       The Canadian Auto Workers Council has unanimously endorsed an E.I. Emergency Measures plan with immediate steps the government could take.

Laurell Ritchie
CAW National Representative

       "We're going to have to keep the oppositions' feet to the fire as well. So we need a fast response here. There is no point coming in later to mop up on E.I. because that won't do us any good. And it needs to be determined. We're in a difficult spot with Parliament shut down and we need to make a lot of noise. This is an emergency. Some of these things needed to happen long ago."

David Robertson
CAW Research

       "Laid off workers face the same inadequate financial supports, the same unfair rules, the same hurdles and obstacles we have to jump, and the same penalties and claw backs that we faced in the economic good times. And the ten-point program outlined in this document is intended to change that."

       The Emergency Plan for Laid-off Workers includes extended EI and other income support; better severance pay; enhanced income protection from bankruptcies; foreclosure protection; new labour laws to protect laid off workers; more funding for action centres; more job re-training; pension protection; benefit protection and public notice and justification of closures and lay-offs.

       The delegates expressed anger, frustration and a determination to bring public pressure to bear on Ottawa.

Peggy Nash
Assistant to CAW President

       "We have to fight like hell to keep our jobs but when we can't; when we are unsuccessful, we have to make sure that people are protected. That is the purpose of our E.I. program and to see that people today are left to fend for themselves in many cases. In the City of Toronto only 20 per cent of unemployed people have access to E. I., it is an absolute disgrace."

       The CAW leadership will be launching a letter writing and petition campaign to enact emergency E.I. measures legislation.

CAW Fighting Back Makes A Difference.

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