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End-of-year unemployment data shows need for continued support for workers

“Even as the vaccine roll-out begins, we can see that the tough times aren’t behind us yet,” said Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff. “The end-of-year unemployment data remind us that strong government support continues to be a vital lifeline for workers and their families who are struggling through the economic shock of the pandemic.”

The December Labour Force Survey, released today by Statistics Canada, shows higher than expected job losses last month. Unemployment rose to 8.6 percent, with employment down 63,000 and job-market participation dropping for the second month in a row.

“These are unprecedented times. The important public health precautions implemented over the past year have had an exceptionally hard impact on workers,” said Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress. “Workers in Canada need to know that when the virus is contained, they can count on decent jobs, with good wages, and adequate benefits to help their families bounce back.”

Facing another round of shutdowns as COVID numbers rise, many workers across the country worried that their financial forecast is getting bleaker. Recent reports have revealed stories of personal support workers checking into homeless shelters and other workers failing to claim the federal government’s sick leave program out of fear of reprisal.

“Investing in Canada’s workers is a direct investment in our economy and it is vital to an economic recovery. The federal government must remain focused on income support and assistance to ensure that workers’ jobs are protected,” said Yussuff. “As we invest in a healthy recovery, Canada must also prepare for the long-term future by disaster-proofing our economy so that we are ready when the next crisis hits.”

Canada’s unions hosting virtual Action Week

People from across Canada will be lobbying MPs next week, in the first large-scale virtual lobbying event since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic exposed deep disparities and vulnerabilities in our economy and society. It has also radically changed the lives of people across Canada.

Workers want the federal government to disaster-proof the economy by committing to investments in job creation, pharmacare and child care, among others.

CLC President Hassan Yussuff is available to comment on the Action Week priorities and to discuss the importance of hosting such a large-scale virtual lobbying event, even in the midst of the current crisis.

To arrange an interview, please contact:

CLC Media Relations
media@clcctc.ca
Office: 613-526-7426
Cell: 613-355-1962