Unifor Pushes Federal Government for Swifter Financial Support for Workers and Employers

Unifor National President Jerry Dias Addressing Rally at Thunder Bay City Hall
Unifor National President Jerry Dias

THUNDER BAY – “Many workers are entering their third week of self-isolation, compounded by the most sudden, widespread job loss our country has ever experienced. Now, just days after the federal government presented something close to an inclusive plan, it seems like more roadblocks have been set up,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Now is not the time for partisan shots and delays, it’s time to streamline delivery of the responsible solutions that Canada’s workers need.”

Unifor warns the Government of Canada against further delays to already overdue financial support for workers and employers.

On April 1, 2020, federal Finance Minister Bill Minister Morneau announced that the portal for employers to access wage replacement funds will not be available for an additional 3-6 weeks. Earlier today, conservative politicians were critical of this necessary program and Prime Minister Trudeau announced that Parliament will be recalled again to vote on the economic stimulus package.


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Unifor has advocated for swift, comprehensive measures to protect workers‘ jobs, financial interests, and health as early as March 5, 2020. However, many of the new measures have yet to be adopted, and the new benefits that have been announced are still not available for workers to apply for or receive.

“Workers are still waiting for the financial support announced weeks ago, with millions already out of work or laid off,” said Renaud Gagné, Unifor Quebec Director. “Canada’s workers are doing their part to stop the spread of this viral pandemic, it’s time for Ottawa to provide the clarity and leadership to bring us through this crisis together, with a comprehensive plan, not more patchwork announcements and irresponsible delays.”

Ahead of yet another emergency parliamentary session, Unifor urges policymakers to follow through with responsible regulations for employers that receive the expanded wage subsidy public benefit.

This includes the continuation of benefit programs and pension contributions and limits on executive compensation and shareholder payments.

Unifor has produced this Fact Sheet on the CERB and has posted revised information about the union’s response to the pandemic, as well as resources for members at unifor.org/COVID19.