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Unifor to push NB Liberal government on key economic, social issues

FREDERICTON, Sept. 23, 2014 /CNW/ - Unifor vows to push the newly-elected Liberal government in New Brunswick to act on priority issues.

"The Liberals have said they are willing to work with the labour movement on key issues, including protecting and advancing workers' rights - but they have been very vague," said Lana Payne, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director. "Unifor will be working with the NB Federation of Labour to push the new government to take real action."

Prior to the election, the union released the results of a six-question survey and found that while there were some positive platform pledges, none of the parties went far enough in their commitments on key economic and social issues.

Unifor's Report Card on the New Brunswick Election revealed party responses on issues that an advisory team of local Unifor leaders thought important to the province's future and to Unifor members: fracking, forestry, passenger rail, women's reproductive choice, child care and labour rights.

"We are also very concerned about women's lack of reproductive freedom in New Brunswick," said Payne. "One of the new government's first decisions must be to remove legislative restrictions on abortion."

Federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has recently made remarks that the party will uphold a woman's right to choose. The provincial party has been less vocal in its support, responding to the union's questionnaire only that they would "review" the current legislation which mandates that a woman get the signed approval of two doctors stating the procedure is "medically necessary".

"Let me be clear, our union is totally committed to ensuring the women of New Brunswick have the right to choose for themselves whether or not to carry a pregnancy. This is not a decision about what is 'medically required' to be made by doctors. This is a decision about what makes best sense for the woman involved - and it is a decision that is ultimately her decision, and her decision alone," stressed Payne.

To read the complete Report Card, with responses from the Liberals, the NDP and the Progressive Conservatives, visit

Unifor was founded Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged. With more than 305,000 members, including more than 6,500 in New Brunswick, Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector.