Unifor calls on new NS Progressive Conservative government to better workers’ lives

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Jennifer Benoit and Shauan Wilcox wearing matching UniforVotes.ca t-shirts.

August 17, 2021

HALIFAX —Newly elected Progressive Conservative Premier Tim Houston must deliver on promises to fix health care and better the lives of Nova Scotia workers and he must make science-based decisions to safely re-open the Northern Pulp mill in his home riding says Unifor. 

“Nova Scotian’s elected this new Progressive Conservative government to fix existing problems that were made worse during the pandemic, including underfunded and understaffed health care and long-term care and the lack of paid sick days for workers,” said Unifor Atlantic Regional Director Linda MacNeil. “The systemic issues that led to so much heartache in long-term care and put such a strain on our health care system and providers are still there. This new government won this election promising to fix health care and that only happens with an open dialogue with workers and unions to find solutions.”

The union seeks support for key industries, especially forestry, to retain much-needed good paying jobs.

“Houston repeatedly distanced himself from the federal conservatives during his campaign and I look forward to working with him, Paper Excellence Canada, the local community, and local Indigenous groups on the responsible re-opening of a clean and sustainable Northern Pulp kraft mill in his riding,” said MacNeil. 

Unifor is also calling on the new government to deliver on promises to make life more affordable and equitable for all by providing additional supports for lower income Nova Scotians, increasing access to affordable housing and implementing the new universal childcare system as quickly as possible.

Outdated provincial labour standards also need to be updated to restore previous first collective agreement arbitration provisions and to introduce anti-scab legislation to ban the hiring of replacement workers during a strike or lockout and prohibit bargaining unit work until the labour dispute has concluded.

“Workers were hurting prior to the economic fallout of the pandemic,” said MacNeil. “This new government has the opportunity now to fight for jobs and find solutions to build back better.”  ​

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

To arrange an interview via phone, FaceTime, Zoom, Skype or in person in Halifax please contact Unifor’s Director of Communications, Natalie Clancy at  @email or 416-707-5794 (cell).