CAW Joins Code Blue Childcare Campaign

London, Ontario

November 24, 2006

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CAW Joins Code Blue Childcare Campaign

The Canadian Auto Workers union and its coalition partners demonstrated in London Ontario November 22 as part of the Code Blue Childcare campaign. The goal was to bring attention to the need for a national childcare program to the people attending a federal by-election all candidates meeting. The director of the CAW Women's department, Julie White said public pressure is mounting.

Julie White
CAW Dir. Women's Dept.

"There's a real ground swell of support around childcare right now. We're seeing it not just among women; we're seeing it in communities across the country where women and men are coming out to rallies. They are talking about childcare. There was a radio call in show today that went on for two hours where people were calling in and talking about childcare."

Among the speakers were a early childcare worker Helena McConkey, CAW Local 27 president Tim Carrie and Sue Colley of the Code Blue Childcare campaign.

Helena McConkey
Early Childcare worker

"It doesn't matter who's raising the children. Whether you are married or single, female or male, when you have to make a choice between your child and your job, it's wrong. It's absolutely and completely wrong"

Tim Carrie
President CAW Local 27

"How does $3 a day help a situation where a couple who are working at minimum wage or a low income, and need to have their children looked after; how does that help them? It doesn't help brother"

Sue Colley
Code Blue Childcare

"We already know that only 20 % of children under three actually have access to childcare. Only 30% of children from three to six have access to childcare and virtually no children who have special needs have access to childcare services in this country today. It is shameful. "

The same night, with the support of the three federal opposition parties a private members Bill to establish a national childcare program was given first reading. Sue Colley is encouraged but says the pressure has to be continued.

Sue Colley
Code Blue Childcare

"I expect in committee we will have hearings and people will talk about the importance of it so it will keep the issue on the agenda and keep things going. I don't know whether we will ever get a chance to actually vote on this Bill, or the politicians will get a chance to vote on this Bill before there is an election. I hope that we do."

Meanwhile the CAW is planning to carry the childcare campaign forward into the next federal election expected next spring. White says individuals can make a difference.

Julie White
CAW Women's Dir.

"What an individual can do is they can contact their MP; they can talk about the importance of a national childcare program."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

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