Canada Employment and Immigration Union - http://ceiu-seic.ca/en/campaigns-and-issues/demonstrators-rally-for-change-at-service-canada/
March 23, 2009

Demonstrators rally for change at Service Canada

A second rally for improvements to EI was held March 16 at the Service Canada office in Scarborough, and CEIU was there to lend its support.

The demonstration, organized by the Good Jobs Coalition, follows one held March 5 outside Service Canada offices in central Toronto. The Coalition is made up of labour, community, social justice, youth and environmental organizations and is calling for changes to the EI system as economic conditions in Canada continue to deteriorate. As Canadian Autoworkers Representative Peggy Nash stated to the media, “Most working people believe because they pay for employment insurance, that when they’re laid off they’re going to get benefits. The terrible reality is that the vast majority of working people, when they’re laid off, cannot collect benefits.” The Coalition is calling for the following changes:

For those who do qualify, the overloaded EI processing system leaves many of them waiting well over the 28 day target for benefit payment. The Coalition is supportive of the situation faced by CEIU members as they scramble to process claims with staffing levels that fall well short of what is needed. CEIU Local President Bruce Flannigan told the demonstrators “We can’t get the job done when we lack the proper resources” he said, “and we don’t like delivering the message to the unemployed that they will just have to be patient – what kind of an answer is that?”

CEIU has taken the position that sensible staffing and training plans, and not stop-gap measures, are what is needed. CEIU backs the Coalition proposals for EI and has supported past calls for improvements to EI legislation and for changes to reverse the additional barriers to EI faced by women.

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