Teamsters Canada's position on the federal budget



    
    "The financial sector will have to be accountable to the government and
    citizens by demonstrating sound management; otherwise we will be faced
    with more financial crises of the same nature. ..."
    

    LAVAL, QC, Jan. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Teamsters Canada believes the budget
presented by the federal government includes several beneficial elements that
could help kick-start the economy.
    Investments in infrastructure, transportation, and several other
industries where workers are represented by the Teamsters Union could have a
positive impact on Canadian families.
    "Elected officials will, however, need to ensure that the billions
injected will create real jobs," cautions Robert Bouvier, president of
Teamsters Canada. "Increasing Canadians' debt is a risky long-term solution,
but will be worthwhile if the government succeeds in creating real jobs out of
the billions invested."

    The "improvements" to employment insurance are entirely inadequate

    The Teamsters Union believes that the "improvements" to the employment
insurance program are entirely inadequate. For the tens of thousands of
workers who have lost (or will lose) their jobs, eligibility criteria must be
meaningfully relaxed and benefits substantially extended.
    Canadians need their government's assistance because many of them will
experience hard times in the coming months. The federal government must be
responsive to workers' needs and act quickly and decisively to stimulate the
economy. Extended employment insurance, in addition to expanded training
programs, will prevent tens of thousands of Canadians from finding themselves
on social welfare and possibly without income.

    Financial institutions will have to be accountable

    Teamsters Canada has always said that banks should be forced to lower
their prime and mortgage rates to give direct and, above all, concrete
assistance to Canadians. Serious regulation of the financial sector must be
introduced to impose restrictions upon financial institutions, which are at
the root of the current crisis. In short, Canadian workers must not pay for an
economic crisis caused by the financial sector's greed.
    "It is time for the government to take a clear position in favor of its
constituents, not the banks," the unionist added. "The financial sector will
have to be accountable to the government and citizens by demonstrating sound
management; otherwise we will be faced with more financial crises of the same
nature."
    In conclusion, Teamsters Union opinion about the budget proposed by Mr.
Flaherty is not bad, but the financial institutions are getting off lightly
because they will not suffer the consequences of their greed.

    The Teamsters Union represents more than 125,000 workers in many trades
in Canada.




For further information:

For further information: Stéphane Lacroix, director of communications
for Teamsters Canada, (514) 609-5101


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