June 18, 2012
Feds should end special EI status for unions
Letter to the Editor
Regarding the story on Employment Insurance (EI) reforms (June 6, JOC), it should also be noted that it's time for the federal government to end the two-tier standards of the EI program that applies different rules for union members.
The message this currently sends is that there are two classes of workers.
There are the ones who aren’t on a union hiring list, who have to go out and look for work to remain eligible for employment insurance.
Then, there are the union members, who are allowed to wait for someone to call and offer them a job because they’re on the union hall’s hiring list.
Their waiting for a job is actually subsidized by every other worker paying into employment insurance.
All other workers must actively look for work – and take the first job available, whether it’s unionized or not.
Simply put, EI is a paycheque from the government – and the job is looking for your next job.
It’s unfair that one group doesn’t have to do this because of union status.
The federal government should be applauded for its EI changes and attempting to put the entire program on a more stable and fair footing.
And, that will benefit all workers – regardless of their union affiliation.
Philip Hochstein, president
Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C.
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