Sunday, November 30, 2008
CAW President Says Harper Inaction on Manufacturing Job Loss is Shameful
August 8, 2008, 4:04 PM EST
CAW President Buzz Hargrove considers today's announcement of 55,000 job losses in the month of July absolutely devastating. The latest figures, released by Statistics Canada on August 8, are one of the worst monthly job loss totals for Canadian manufacturing on record. Hargrove points the finger directly at the Harper government.
"The Harper government must be held accountable for the pain and suffering felt by the hundreds of thousands of Canadian manufacturing workers who have lost their jobs in recent years," Hargrove said, adding that the government's disregard of important issues such as unfair trade, the rising Canadian dollar, and skyrocketing energy prices has contributed to the major job losses in recent years.
"The government's inaction is both appalling and shameful."
Hargrove said that these latest labour market statistics do not account for more recently announced layoffs and plant closures that will take place in the coming months, including thousands more job losses at Sterling Truck in St. Thomas, Owens Illinois in Toronto and the General Motors Oshawa truck plant slated to close in 2009.
"Until our federal government wakes up and realizes the extent of this crisis, I fear that the worst is yet to come."
Ontario Federation of Labour
Released by the Ontario Federation of Labour, Monday (Oct. 6).Click to enlarge A report issued by the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) during a press conference at the campaign headquarters of London-Fanshawe NDP incumbent Irene Mathyssen Monday (Oct. 6), shows dramatic job losses in the manufacturing sector for London and the surrounding area.Pointing to report statistics – in the last two years London has lost 18 per cent of its manufacturing job base, more than 7,200 jobs have left the region – OFL President Wayne Samuelson pulled no punches pointing the finger at both the Stephen Harper Conservative Government and the federal Liberal Party."Some politicians, Conservatives and Liberals both, are out there telling people these jobs losses don't matter because there have been increases in service sector jobs in the region. They just don't get it. These new service sector jobs don't pay enough to raise a family, buy a house or pay a mortgage, or put a child through college or university," Samuelson said.The loss of manufacturing jobs is particularly damaging, Samuelson noted, because they are relatively good jobs, paying 30 per cent more than service-sector jobs. In 2008, average weekly earnings in London were more than $1,000 for manufacturing jobs and $767 for the service sector.The OFL report at a press conference held at Mathyssen's campaign office using data from Statistics Canada, and the London-Fanshawe incumbent used the report to urge the people in her riding to rally around her in the coming election and ensure working people have a strong voice in Ottawa."I am thankful that the Ontario Federation has compiled this report, because it underlines what I have been saying for the past two years," said Mathyssen. "Families are falling apart, working long hours—often at two or more jobs—missing out on quality time together, and watching their children's futures and their own retirement plans disappearing. It is time we had a government that understands the priorities of working families and puts the priorities of the kitchen table ahead of the greed of the boardroom table."Samuelson noted that Mathyssen is the only MP in the region to consistently speak out on the job-loss crisis. " It is critical that Irene is re-elected to keep this riding out of Harper's hands.
When you look at job losses in St. Thomas, where there is a Conservative MP, it's pretty clear a voiceless backbencher won't be able to do half the job Irene is already doing." London District Labour Council President Patti Dalton agreed."What we have are low paying, often temporary jobs, that desperate workers are taking because it is the only way to keep food on the table. The work available is low wage, with only the most basic employment standards. These are not jobs that sustain communities. The Harper government has been irresponsible, failing to do anything to protect jobs, and they have no plan to change," said Dalton.
Both Samuelson and Dalton applauded the NDP's "Made-in-Canada" procurement policy for the federal government and its agencies, the $750 million "Green Collar Jobs Fund", and investment in municipal infrastructure as practical, positive ideas that will protect existing jobs and create new jobs in the 21st century economy."Irene Mathyssen, in her first term, in opposition, has brought more than $47 million in federal investment to London-Fanshawe, including job programs for students, investment in Diamond Aircraft, and funding for transit among others. We need to re-elect her, so she can build on her record of getting results." Dalton added.In addition, statistics point to the fact that unemployment is increasing and laid off workers are discovering the failure of the unemployment insurance system.In London, only 29 per cent of unemployed workers can collect employment insurance benefits because there are so many barriers."What we need from the federal government is a plan to address the problems in the manufacturing sector, an unemployment insurance system that provides more support to workers who lose their jobs and a training system that works for people," Samuelson said.
Here is CTV spin
The Canadian economy added 15,200 jobs in August to keep Canada's unemployment rate steady at 6.1 per cent.
The August results were being closely watched because the two previous months had shown declines in employment. Statistics Canada reported Friday that last month's net employment gains were mostly full-time private sector jobs. The private sector had lost 95,000 jobs in July, but added 40,900 in August. However, public-sector employment fell by 23,900 in the same period.
In Ontario, two months of declines were reversed as the province added 14,000 net jobs. The manufacturing sector also showed a bounce as it added 13,800 jobs.
But Statistics Canada also noted that Canada has created only 87,000 new jobs this year compared to more than 220,000 in the first eight months of 2007. In July, the economy lost 55,000 jobs.
"The July number was horrid," Carolyn Kwan, senior economist with Merrill Lynch Canada, told The Canadian Press before the August numbers were released.
Economists warn against giving too much weight to any single month. However, an economics professor at McGill University told CP the August job numbers offer some relief for Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government, which is expected to call an election this weekend.
"I think it helps them in that there's no avalanche of unemployment that they're getting caught up in," Bill Watson said.
The Canadian dollar rose almost three-quarters of a cent to above 94 cents US after the jobless data was released, but loosened its grip on the gains later in the day.
However the stock market doesn't appear to be getting a boost from the employment numbers.
The TSX main index continued its slide, posting triple-digit losses on Friday until slightly reducing its losses in the afternoon. It has fallen 1,000 points loss over four days.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcies reported there were 7,452 personal bankruptcies reported in July, up 19 per cent compared to a year ago.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Wednesday.
Flaherty told reporters following the government's throne speech that no major measures to stimulate the economy or bail out the teetering auto sector will be in next week's announcement.
"That is not a mini-budget; it's an update," Flaherty said.
The question all Canadian must ask themselves is this: Why are we listen to Fox North (CTV) with it's pro-conservative spin, and not listen to Statics Canada when they state along with every major economic expert in the entire country that canada is in a major recession
After all what does CTV stand for: Canada Tory Voice