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Stunning job losses mean EI must be improved

Governments have changed the rules for EI: harder to qualify, benefits chopped.

Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress OTTAWA, February 2, 2009 — The Canadian Labour Congress has responded to news that Canada lost 129,000 jobs in January with a renewed call for the federal government to make urgently-needed improvements to the Employment Insurance program.

"This is stunning," says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. "It's an economic tsunami for Canadian workers and there's more to come. We have now lost 213,000 good full-time jobs in the past three months and the unemployment rate is at 7.2 percent."

Georgetti says many laid-off workers and their families will be left out in the cold because governments have changed the rules for EI, making it harder to qualify and chopping the benefits for those who do.

"The effects of the government's economic stimulus package won't kick in for months but workers who are innocent victims of this recession need help right now," says Georgetti.

He says that workers and their unions are going to keep the pressure on the government to improve the EI program. "People have paid their premiums believing that they would receive their insurance when they find themselves unemployed. Rainy day funds are supposed to be there for rainy days."

Analysis of Senior Economist, Sylvain Schetagne

Unprecedented deterioration of the labour market is confirmed.

Canada lost 129,000 jobs in January 2009, a deterioration well beyond anything seen in the past three decades. . .

To read further. . .

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  Stunning job losses mean EI must be improved, by the Canadian Labour Congress, February 2 2009

Posted: February 11, 2009

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