Canada Employment and Immigration Union -
December 22, 2011

Winnipeg members connect with the needy over the holiday season

CEIU members in Winnipeg are again carrying out their “Christmas in a Bag” program. Started by the region’s Women’s Committee a number of years ago, the program provides bags stuffed with necessities and small luxuries to those living at shelters across the city and areas of rural Manitoba.

Call centre workers put aside the frustration they experience as growing numbers of desperate EI claimants contact them over delayed payments. Despite claims by Minister Finley, employees are working flat-out to process claims and deal with inquiries, but staff cuts mean there are simply not enough resources to get the job done.

Joining the call centre staff in the “Christmas in a Bag” program are workers at the Winnipeg claims processing centre as well as those at the regional office and ITC. Collectively they will distribute 216 gift bags plus $600 in cash donations to the less fortunate in Winnipeg. Members in smaller centres have added their efforts as well, donating to shelters in Brandon, Thompson, The Pas, Flin Flon, Swan River, Dauphin, Selkirk, Morden, Winkler and Steinbach.

“Our members care about EI claimants and others in their community,” said National Executive Vice-President Steve McCuaig, “and they won’t let cutbacks get in the way of showing it.”

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