TORONTO, Aug. 6 /CNW/ - CAW President Ken Lewenza called the loss of
139,000 full-time jobs a stunning reminder that the country still has a
long way to go to recover from the dark days of the recession.
"Working people across the country are still finding it immensely
difficult to find new jobs, especially those that provide a decent
standard of living," said Lewenza. "July's unemployment statistics show
that good jobs are on the decline while precarious work, characterized
by part-time or temporary employment, is on the rise right across the
While the huge numbers of full-time jobs lost were almost wholly
'replaced' by part-time employment, Lewenza says the figures do not add
up. "No-one should claim that one part-time job genuinely replaces a
full-time one - many people have to work two or even three part-time
jobs just to survive," said Lewenza.
Lewenza called for an extension of Employment Insurance stimulus
measures, which would assist the country's unemployed workers, as many
as half of whom count as long-term unemployed, unable to find work since
the beginning of the recession. These measures include an extra five
weeks of benefits for all claimants, a regional maximum of 50 weeks and
extension of as much as 20 weeks for long-service workers and EI
training benefits for claimants in approved retraining programs. "It
would be dangerous and indeed a huge mistake for government to fail to
extend these important programs," said Lewenza, adding that allowing EI
special measures to expire for all new claims after September 11 would
throw the country's very fragile recovery into peril.
Lewenza also called for a tri-partite jobs task force to look at the
future of good full-time jobs in Canada. The task force would include
participation from all three levels of government, business and labour.
"We must consider what we want the economic direction of this country to
be and what employment opportunities we ought to ensure are available
for future generations," said Lewenza. "Right now, I'm not optimistic
that we're leaving as many opportunities for the next generation as my
own generation and previous generations enjoyed. We must do better."
SOURCE Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)
For further information: For further information: CAW Communications, Shannon Devine, (cell) 416-302-1699 or Angelo DiCaro, (cell) 416-606-6311