UFCW activists meet with MPs to advocate for pay equity, pharmacare, pension fairness


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Ottawa – February 9, 2018 – UFCW Canada activists recently joined labour allies from across the country in Ottawa to participate in a series of political action meetings with government ministers and Members of Parliament.

Organized by the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), the February 6 meetings saw activists from UFCW Canada Local Unions and the National Office joining with representatives and affiliates from the CLC to meet with MPs and ministers on Parliament Hill and discuss key issues facing workers and their families.

The meetings provided activists with an opportunity to speak with Members of Parliament about the need for a national pharmacare system that provides all Canadians with prescription drug coverage; proactive pay equity legislation to address the gender wage gap between men and women workers; stronger bankruptcy laws that put pensioners and their benefits first when companies file for bankruptcy; and a fairer Employment Insurance system that levels the playing field for part-time and precarious employees, as well as migrant farm workers.   

Throughout the day, activists met with over 48 MPs and Senators from various political parties.  

Later in the day, participants heard from federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who discussed the strong relationship between working people and the New Democratic Party of Canada. As well, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Labour Patty Hajdu announced that – thanks in part to the advocacy efforts of labour unions – her government will be introducing pay equity legislation before the end of this year. And finally, Jean-Yves Duclos, the Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development, told activists that the federal government will be reinstating the Employment Insurance Board of Referees to provide a fair appeals process for EI benefit claims – a key demand of participants in the February 6 meetings.

"In order to advance the concerns and hopes of workers and their families, UFCW believes it is vital to regularly engage our elected officials,” says UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema. “That is why participating in events like the CLC political action meetings is so important,” Brother Meinema adds.