Together with the Canadian Labour Congress and other unions, President Debi Daviau wrote to the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food with respect to last month’s decision by the Chinese government to halt imports of Canadian pork and beef.
We urge the Canadian government to work quickly and diligently to restore exports to China.
The letter calls the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to ensure that food safety inspectors, veterinarians and food scientists are adequately staffed and resourced to restore trust and confidence in the high quality of Canadian exports.
Support must be provided to workers impacted by this ban. We are calling on the government to work with unions to prepare employment benefits and labour adjustment measures to protect affected private-sector workers in the event of a protracted dispute that results in plant closures and layoffs.
The Canadian Labour Congress has also submitted specific recommendations to the federal government to inform their response to this ban. It is essential that work-sharing, extension of EI benefits, training and employer assistance services and industry assistance all be employed to support workers and impacted communities (especially newcomers and Indigenous Canadians).