March 17, 2020
Sisters, Brothers, Friends, Union family,
As you may have heard, the CLC Canadian Council voted to postpone the CLC convention which was scheduled for May 4-8, 2020 in Vancouver. It was also decided that the CLC’s current officers will remain in their respective positions until the convention can be re-scheduled.
Team Unite fully supports this decision. This is an unprecedented time in Canada and it is impacting Canadian workers in multiple ways. Many workers are required to stay at home to self-isolate or because their workplace is closed or has reduced their hours. Parents are juggling work and childcare responsibilities in light of school and daycare closures. Many workers are working additional and long hours to provide the services our communities need right now. That includes retail, security, transportation, municipal employees, postal workers, as well as health care workers and many others.
We want to commend and sincerely thank all workers who are continuing to do their jobs under increasingly challenging circumstances. We are appreciative of all that you do to keep our communities safe and strong.
We call on employers and government to consider the following measures to assist all workers at this critical time:
Paid leave for employees who are required to self-isolate. This includes a top up to the employment insurance sick pay provisions.
The temporary removal of required to qualify for Employment Insurance benefits.
Job protection for workers who are forced to stay away from their workplace.
A firm commitment to health and safety protections for front line workers who are working to keep society going. This includes ensuring all staff have access to protective equipment and sanitation supplies.
We recognize that, even with these measures in place, many workers will still be negatively affected. Precarious workers in service industries, the arts, or who work as independent contractors will all have their livelihood impacted.
We know our movement will do what we do best in challenging times and support one another. We will treat one another with kindness and respect, and in the true spirit of solidarity we will pull together to ensure that we successfully navigate these extraordinary times.
Bea Bruske, Lily Chang and Siobhan Vipond