March 17, 2020

COVID-19: We need H.E.L.P.

We are calling for immediate Health Emergency Labour Protections to cope with the devastating impacts of COVID-19, click here to sign our Canada-wide petition. These supports are the only way all of us will be able to follow the public health advice to contain the spread of coronavirus.

But most provincial and federal leaders are failing us.

Not a single provincial government has moved to ensure that employers provide 21 paid emergency leave days for all workers -- 7 paid days as a permanent measure and an additional 14 paid days during pandemics like COVID-19. Without paid leave days, too many of us are forced to choose between losing pay and going to work sick. In ordinary times, this is a terrible situation. But during COVID-19, it is a public health disaster. 

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That’s why we’re demanding H.E.L.P.:   

  • 21 paid emergency leave days
  • An immediate, non-repayable emergency fund 
  • Greater access to Employment Insurance
  • No worker left behind

Sign our petition now, click here. Your email will be sent to Prime Minister Trudeau and your local provincial or territorial leader. 

Remember, those of us who are least likely to have paid leave also prepare and deliver food. We work in malls and grocery stores. We clean offices and public buildings. And we care for seniors as personal support workers and in long-term care homes. We care for children as education workers, early childhood educators, and as live-in care workers without full citizenship status.

Those of us who are federally-regulated, staff airports, drive buses and handle money at banks.

We all need protection!

Too many of us have neither paid leave nor EI. Ordering closures without income supports when we lose hours -- or our jobs -- will turn the current health emergency into an economic crisis. The Quebec government showed real leadership by announcing a living allowance of $573 for workers who need to self isolate. The federal government must also step up now to create a non-repayable emergency fund for workers who are directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19 and to enhance Employment Insurance.

As we heard from Canada’s Chief Medical Officer, the window for containing the virus is closing. Every hour we delay in making it possible for all of us to stay home when sick, or practice social distancing, is an hour in which COVID-19 will spread. To read our full set of Health Emergency Labour Protections, click here.

We need to work together to get H.E.L.P. Send the email now. There’s not a second to lose.