Unifor kicks off federal lobby week to build better EI

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Unifor representatives meet with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh online.

OTTAWA – Unifor is kicking off a weeklong federal lobby to communicate urgent repairs needed to fix Canada’s broken Employment Insurance (EI) system.

“There is no time to waste when it comes to fixing EI. Workers across the country are running out of benefits and running into barriers with a program that seems more determined to punish them instead of help them,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

“The incredible response we have seen from MPs of all parties in organizing this lobby week proves that this message is already being heard,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National Secretary-Treasurer. “We all know it’s time to fix EI, and Unifor members are ready to show Canada how that should be done.”

Members of the union will meet with more than 100 Members of Parliament and ministerial staff in this effort, with most meetings occurring between Monday, December 13 and Friday, December 17, 2021.

“Rebuilding our social safety net is a key component of building back better,” said Renaud Gagné, Unifor Quebec Director. “The system needs to change to better support all people who need it, from seasonal workers and new parents to members who experienced layoff for the first time during COVID and the many who are still not fully back at work.”

To coincide with the union’s efforts, members participated in a new video to outline some of the challenges and solutions that workers need to see in the EI system. Watch the video on YouTube.

Unifor members are also participating in round table meetings on EI organized by Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough and are organizing campaigns to email and call their own MPs to restore the Canada Recovery Benefit and fix EI.

The union’s campaign, led by Lana Payne, is committed to build better EI. The campaign and corresponding report focuses on necessary improvements in three key areas;

  • Employment Insurance Eligibility Criteria,
  • Employment Insurance Benefits, and
  • Administration of the Employment Insurance System.

Read a summary of the recommendations as well as a downloadable copy the full report, Securing An Inclusive, Equitable And Resilient Employment Insurance Program For Workers In Canada.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 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 interviews via Skype, FaceTime or Zoom contact Sarah McCue, Unifor National Communications Representative at 416-458-3307 (cell) or @email.

For French interviews, please contact Unifor Quebec Communications Representative, Marie-Andrée L'Heureux at @email or 514-916-7373 (cell).