United Steelworkers union urges swift action on unaddressed worker rights issues in Budget 2024

OTTAWA, April 16, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The United Steelworkers union acknowledge the positive steps taken by the federal government in Budget 2024 to uphold workers' rights and advance sustainable job creation but emphasizes the need for swift action on critical issues that remain unaddressed. 

“Since presenting our budget submissions last summer, the government has introduced anti-scab legislation and moved forward on the Sustainable Jobs Act – legislative measures that will help uphold workers' rights and give workers a voice in efforts to transition to sustainable jobs,” said Marty Warren, Canadian National Director for the United Steelworkers. “We urge the swift adoption of these bills by all parties to provide workers with the protections they deserve.”

The USW also welcomes the government's commitment to legislate the Clean Technology Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit, which includes extraction and processing of critical minerals and is looking forward for the government including labour requirements like prevailing union wages and apprentices incentives, to ensure that public monies are not used to drive down wages and working conditions.  

However, Budget 2024 falls short in adequately funding the industrial policies and workers-centred sustainable jobs plan, crucial for ensuring prosperity for workers and their communities. Additionally, the absence of Employment Insurance reform for the 21st century and a "Buy Clean" procurement policy raises concerns about the budget's ability to address key issues impacting workers and the environment. 

“While we acknowledge the positive steps taken in Budget 2024 and in the months leading up to it, it is imperative that the government addresses these critical areas to prioritize the wellbeing of Canadian workers,” added Warren. “We remain committed to advocating for policies that prioritize workers' rights, environmental sustainability and social equity and will continue to push for comprehensive measures that empower workers, create quality jobs, and build a future where prosperity is shared by all Canadians.” 

For more information, please contact:  

Shannon Devine, USW Communications (cell) 416-938-4402 sdevine@usw.ca