Workers, labour leaders mobilize to Parliament Hill urging action on ‘polycrisis’

Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Photo: Tetyana Kovyrina/Pexels
By Canada Labour Congress

Hundreds of workers and labour leaders from across Canada are mobilizing to Parliament Hill today to sound the alarm about the mounting issues facing workers.

“Workers are being hit over and over again. Rising costs for necessities, high inflation and stagnant wages mean families are struggling,” said Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).

At the same time, public services are being pushed to their limits and our care systems are in crisis.

“With ERs overflowing and surgery wait times through the roof, our loved ones can’t access the care they need. Meanwhile workers’ rights are under attack as wealthy CEOs prioritize profits over workers’ well-being, and communities are still grappling with the effects of climate change,” added Bruske.

The event is CLC’s biggest lobby delegation to date. Delegates are meeting with MPs, cabinet ministers and senators while the Prime Minister meets with Canada’s premiers to discuss healthcare funding.

“Workers are best placed to discuss the problems we are facing _ and the solutions. Workers in the care sector are stretched thin and are calling for meaningful investments in the public care system to make life more affordable and to put a stop to for-profit health care. Access to health care has to be based on need, not on someone’s ability to pay,” said Ms. Bruske. “Our future depends on investment in care, and we need those investments fast.?Not investing in care right now harms lives, livelihoods and the future of Canada _ something we cannot afford.”

Energy sector workers are urging decision-makers to invest in unionized, sustainable jobs that protect their communities and the environment. Canada’s unions are also calling on parliamentarians to move quickly to pass legislation that will protect workers’ rights. Promised anti-scab legislation will ensure a fairer bargaining process that can help unionized workers make gains that benefit all workers _ if the legislation is strong enough.

Members of the delegation are also meeting with several senators to discuss Bill C-228, which, if passed, will protect workers’ hard-earned pensions in the event of employer bankruptcy. Unions are calling for the swift passage of this bill.

“As they meet with workers from ridings across the country today, parliamentarians are encouraged to remember that unions have deep roots in communities everywhere, and the gains that unionized workers make benefit every worker. Canada’s economy is powered by those workers,” said Bruske.

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