Unifor supports clean tech and manufacturing investments, slams failure to fix EI

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A group of people (Unifor leadership and staff) stand in front of Parliament Hill.

TORONTO- Unifor commends the 2023 federal budget’s focus on new industrial manufacturing investments but condemns inaction to fix an Employment Insurance system that fails workers.  

“Significant new incentives to attract critical manufacturing and build the necessary value chains here in Canada is very welcome news. But these incentives must include strong labour conditions. Unifor will continue to push for good union jobs and fair wages,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. 

The union has long pushed for government to fix issues with EI eligibility, accessibility, and benefits levels. 

“Amidst economic uncertainty, and despite ongoing promises to do so, Budget 2023 completely failed to fix Canada’s punitive EI system and leaves workers unprotected,” continued Payne. 

Budget 2023 takes steps to address some of the pressing challenges for Canadian workers, including access to dentalcare and the rising cost of goods, both issues strongly supported by the opposition NDP.

However, important opportunities were missed for transformational change including permanent EI reform, tax reform and ambitious, modern, productivity-inducing industrial strategy.

“Canadians will be well served by expanded, income-tested dental care supports as well as rebates to offset rising costs. However, Budget 2023 does not get at the root cause of the affordability problem – corporate profiteering,” continued Payne. “The so-called grocery rebate acknowledges the pain Canadians feel at the checkout but fails to check rampant corporate profiteering by the country’s grocery barons.” 

Unifor made a series of recommendations to government ahead of the federal budget that would build stronger foundations for workers and industries that move Canada’s economy towards resilience and long-term prosperity for all.

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.

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Kathleen O'Keefe

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Kaylie Tiessen

Kaylie Tiessen, National Representative, Research Department
National Representative, Research Department