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Ottawa – November 27, 2020 – UFCW Canada activists met with government ministers and Members of Parliament over the last two weeks to advocate for policies and programs that could help working people, including universal childcare, increased protections and supports for frontline workers, and reforming the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
Organized by UFCW Canada’s Political Action and Legislative Affairs Department, the online meetings were led by activists from UFCW Local Unions and the union’s National Office, who spoke with MPs and ministers about key issues facing frontline workers and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The virtual meetings provided activists with an opportunity to speak with MPs about the need for a universal and affordable childcare system in Canada; enhanced workplace protections, better wages, and increased financial supports for frontline workers in the long-term care, food retail, and food processingindustries; reforming Canada’s TFWP to provide migrant workers with better protections, pathways to permanent residency, and the ability to unionize; and why we would should expand Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits to better assist workers and persons with disabilities.
Participants also used the meetings as chance to emphasize the importance of protecting workers from job losses related to automation and artificial intelligence, and pursuing a COVID-19 recovery that ensures the economic security of all Canadians, not just the wealthy few.
"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, workers across the country are struggling right now and they need to know that governments will be there to support them in a time of need and help them get through this horrible public health crisis,” says UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema.
“That is why we are calling on the federal government to work with the provinces and municipalities to support frontline workers in every way possible, expand benefits where needed, and help parents, seniors, and families by enacting universal childcare and pharmacare,” Brother Meinema adds.
As Canada’s leading union, UFCW Canada believes that political action is essential to achieving a better life for workers and their families. Our union engages in politics because the decisions made by political parties and elected officials impact UFCW Canada members in their workplaces, homes, and communities. To learn more about our union’s work in the political realm, visit the UFCW Canada Political Action webpage.