Federal Government must include all of Saskatchewan in EI extension

 

The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) is asking the Government of Canada to expand the scope of Employment Insurance (EI) benefits extension to include Southern Saskatchewan.

 

“The extension of EI benefits by five to twenty weeks as announced in the recent federal budget is a welcome acknowledgement of the hardship facing working people as a result of the current downturn in the energy sector, but the exclusion of laid off workers in Southern Saskatchewan is an unfortunate oversight,” said SFL president Larry Hubich.

 

“Energy sector workers in the Southern Saskatchewan EI region are just as hard hit by the reversals in the sector as workers elsewhere in Canada and should be granted the same consideration,” said Hubich. “The numbers of workers and families affected by the economic downturn in the Estevan, Weyburn, Regina, and Swift Current areas are significant and their welfare should be taken into account,” he added.

 

One year ago, 135 workers employed by Advance Engineered Products Ltd (AEPL) in Regina were let go without notice. The workers employed by AEPL and represented by AEA/GSU Local 8 worked in a business that builds and services tanker trailers for the oil industry.

 

“I’ve been informed by their union – the Grain and General Services Union (GSU) – that laid off AEPL employees have seen their EI benefits run out while employment in their sector or related sectors have not provided alternative employment options to match their metal working skill sets,” said Hubich.

 

In recognition of the hardship facing working families in Southern Saskatchewan, the SFL is calling on the federal government to provide greatly needed support by extending EI benefits to unemployed workers in the region to the same extent as announced for other regions in the province and Canada.

 

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The SFL represents over 100,000 working people across the province in 37 affiliated unions.

 

For additional information, contact:

 

Kent Peterson

Strategic Advisor

Saskatchewan Federation of Labour

o: 1 (306) 525-0197

m: 1 (306) 570-1855

e: k.peterson@sfl.sk.ca

Saskatchewan's Labour Movement: the folks who brought you the constitutional right to strike!