TODAY - CAW Launches Groundbreaking Study Tracking Laid Off Workers

TORONTO, June 7 /CNW/ - The CAW is unveiling a new study tracking laid off workers in three different cities across southern Ontario at a press conference today, Monday, June 7 at the Sheraton Centre, downtown Toronto.

The study, which is the first of its kind in the province, tracks a random sample of workers in Toronto, Brampton and Kitchener, many of whom lost their jobs only months prior to the official beginning of the recession. CAW President Ken Lewenza will be introducing the study.

    Press conference:

    Today - Monday, June 7 at 10 a.m.

    Sheraton Centre - Conference Room D & E (Main Mezzanine Level)
    123 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON

    For members of the media unable to attend, but who wish to participate,
    please call:

    * Please use a landline only.

Written by Sam Vrankulj of McMaster University, the study focuses on the experience of manufacturing workers struggling with unemployment during the worst recession since the 1930s. It examines the various challenges in finding new employment and retraining; the impacts on workers health and well being and the role of action centres in providing critical supports.

Some key findings:

    -   This is still a very difficult labour market. Only 24% of the
        participants were working at the time of the survey. Of this group,
        approximately 70% were employed in part-time, temporary or more
        precarious forms of work. Just 39% found their new jobs in
        manufacturing while the other 61% were working in other sectors.

    -   When workers get adequate income and tuition support they take
        advantage of retraining opportunities after job loss. Otherwise, the
        financial obstacles are too great. There were 90% of study
        participants who enrolled for upgrading or retraining who identified
        the level of income support and the cost of tuition as the most
        important factors enabling that enrollment.

    -   Workers report high levels of satisfaction with the unique services
        provided by action centres and peer helpers.

    -   More targeted supports are needed to address the multiple obstacles
        faced by laid off workers who are older, women, immigrants or who
        lack strong literacy skills.

The study was initiated by CAW with funding approved in the adjustment contract between CAW, Chrysler Canada and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

In coordination with the unveiling of the study, members of the media may want to visit one of a number of CAW Action Centres, set up by the union with monies negotiated from employers and the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Action centres offer a wide range of supports, both formal and informal, to meet the needs of laid off workers - including job search, retraining, financial, personal and social needs.

Some Toronto area centres include:

    CAW Local 222 Community Action Centre
    Co-ordinator: Connie Snelgrove 905-432-7205 or cell 905-925-3939
    200 John St., Unit B11
    Midtown Mall, Oshawa

    CAW Local 1285 Chrysler Action Centre
    Jen Wells, Co-ordinator tel. 905-456-1285
    Plaza 1, unit 6
    350 Rutherford Rd South,
    Brampton, L6W 3P6

    CAW Former Simmons Workers Action Centre
    Ines Medeiros, Co-ordinator tel. 905-455-1513
    Plaza 2, unit 103
    350 Rutherford Rd South,
    Brampton, L6W 3P6

    PMP Workers Action Centre
    Fa Lim, Co-ordinator tel. 905-532-0633 x 25
    2180 Steeles West Unit 3 (at Keele)
    Concord, L4K 2Z5

SOURCE Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)

For further information: For further information: For more information contact CAW Communications, Shannon Devine, cell (416) 302-1699 or David Robertson, CAW director of work organization and training, cell (416) 219-5257. Please contact David Robertson to find out more about the action centre in your region.

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