Every year, on May 1st, workers around the world honour and are inspired by the activism and the collective power of workers that won an eight-hour workday. It is a day of solidarity and a day to recommit working towards improving the lives of workers.
As restrictive pandemic measures are lifted, governments must invest more to improve our fragile social safety net. We entered the pandemic with high rates of poverty, food and housing insecurity, fragile child and long-term care systems. If anything, these issues have gotten worse over the past two years. Many essential workers continue to struggle to make a decent living, facing poor wages and working conditions. Many workers do not even have access to paid sick leave.
“Workers are the backbone of our society. Too many New Brunswick workers are earning poverty-level wages, have no job security, working in temporary positions or only having part-time hours, and many do not have access to paid-sick days,” says Daniel Legere, President of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour, “All workers should have access to 10 paid sick days per year and 10 emergency leave days. Nobody should have to choose between their paycheque and going to work sick or dealing with a family emergency.”
An emerging issue that needs to be added to the governments’ agenda is long Covid. It affects ten to fifty percent of people diagnosed with Covid-19.
“Long Covid is a debilitating illness that affects people’s ability to function in their everyday lives, including their ability to work,” says Daniel Legere. “Unfortunately, long Covid does not seem to be on the government’s radar. Government can start acknowledging, defining and developing a plan for dealing with the long-term effects of Covid-19.”
The NBFL is the central voice of organized labour in the province. We represent over 38,000 public and private sector workers from every sector of the economy and from every community in the province.
For more information, please contact
Daniel Legere, President NBFL
(506) 381-8969 (cell)