Sisters and Brothers,
Local 1996-O Executive wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe holiday season and all the best in the new year to you and your families.
Lee, Sanjay, Brian, Chris
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced on Thursday it has permanently approved Bell Canada’s application to move its new call-blocking technology from trial to a permanent solution, for both itself and affiliates.
Back in November, ahead of the deadline for telcos to implement STIR/SHAKEN technology to identify spam callers using VoIP, the CRTC said Bell had been testing its own anti-spam technology, that had blocked over 1.1 billion callers from July 2020 to October 2021.
Now, the CRTC says it “approves Bell Canada’s application to allow Bell Canada and its affiliates (Bell Canada et al.) to transition its call-blocking mechanism from a trial to a permanent offering subject to the terms and conditions set out in this decision.”
Unifor is calling for anti-scab legislation in every jurisdiction in Canada. Read the research paper and sign the petition.
COVID-19 continues to take a devastating toll on many sectors of the Canadian economy, workers and families, while continuing to expose the inequities and inadequacies of our Employment Insurance (EI) program. Meanwhile, critical temporary EI measures and income supports that millions of laid off workers have relied upon have now expired.
Unifor, representing 315,000 workers in all sectors of the Canadian economy, calls upon the federal government to take the lessons learned during the pandemic, and strive to build an accessible, equitable, and resilient EI program for all workers in Canada.
The fact that the EI system was ill prepared to deal with a mass influx of applicants during an economic crisis comes as no surprise for labour and community advocates. Over the past two decades alone, countless reports have been produced examining the overall state (and failures) of EI, while providing concrete recommendations on how to restore EI benefits to protect workers, and help modernize it to reflect the realities of today’s increasingly precarious labour market.
EI issues experienced today can be traced back directly to policy changes beginning in the 1990s. Much of these were rooted in the unfounded claims of widespread program abuse and ideological beliefs of EI contributing to an increasingly ‘idle’ workforce.
These negative program changes included:
Unsurprisingly, EI eligibility rates plummeted, from 80% in 1990 to 44.5% by 2008. Prior to the pandemic, we saw only 40% of unemployed workers in Canada, on average, receiving EI benefits—nearly the same coverage rate when the program first started over 80 years ago.
Beginning in 2016, minor changes were introduced by the Liberal government, yet many structural problems remain today.
In June of 2020, Unifor released an ambitious public policy document entitled Unifor’s Road Map for a Fair, Inclusive and Resilient Economic Recovery, which served as the foundation of the union’s national Build Back Better campaign. As the federal government looked to support recovery and rebuild the economy from the ravages of the pandemic, Unifor wanted to ensure that governments took advantage of this opportunity to build an economy that raises the quality and standard of living for all people in Canada and that would better protect workers during any future economic crisis. More recently, in June of 2021, Unifor released a Build Better EI Campaign report entitled Securing an Inclusive, Equitable and Resilient Employment Insurance Program for Workers in Canada, calling on the government to make significant changes to the EI program and outlining concrete recommendations aimed at expanding eligibility and improving benefits and administration.
Unifor’s report: Securing an Inclusive, Equitable and Resilient Employment Insurance Program for Workers in Canada contains 24 policy recommendations on building a better EI program. A few highlighted recommendations from this full report include:
Unifor recommends the Federal Government improve accessibility by:
Unifor recommends the Federal Government enhance benefits by:
Unifor recommends the Federal Government improve administration by:
For a comprehensive list of Unifor’s EI recommendations, please review our full policy report here.