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Big gains for workers in Liberal-NDP agreement: Steelworkers

TORONTO – The United Steelworkers union (USW) congratulates NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh for his leadership landing big gains for workers in the historic confidence-and-supply agreement.

The deal will be the greatest expansion in universal health care in a generation.

“This is a triumph by the NDP. To get the Liberals to agree to bring in anti-scab legislation, dental care and pharmacare – all things the Liberals have repeatedly voted against – is a big deal,” said Marty Warren, USW National Director.

The historic confidence and supply agreement is the result of persistent, strategic action by Jagmeet Singh and the NDP to deliver results for people including workers and unions.

The deal includes:

  • Action on 10 days of paid sick leave (federal) as soon as possible in 2022, which has passed into law but Liberals have so far failed to enact it.
  • Anti-scab legislation by the end of 2023 for federally regulated industries, covering both lockouts and strikes, a key win for workers and unions.
  • Pharmacare with substantial steps towards universal pharmacare which will reduce medication costs for all Canadians
  • Dental care for low-income people beginning with those under age 12 in 2022.
  • Early Learning and Child Care Act will be introduced in 2022 to enshrine affordable child-care agreements in law and protect long-term funding for non-profit and public spaces to make sure working families have access to high-quality affordable child care.

The deal specifically mentions working with unions on Just Transition legislation so that workers and communities are not left behind.

The deal commits to concrete action on Indigenous reconciliation including new investments in Indigenous housing in 2022, accelerating the implementation of the Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people and supporting Indigenous communities to undertake the work of burial searches at former residential school sites.

“It’s clear that the Liberal government in Ottawa would not have made these commitments without pressure from the NDP. This deal is democracy in action. It is the NDP making a minority Parliament deliver the help that people need,” said Warren.

And there’s more. The deal includes immediate increased health funding and a Safe Long-term Care Act to ensure seniors get the care they deserve.

“Unions and workers have been pushing for anti-scab legislation and pharmacare for decades. The pandemic has highlighted how crucial it is that workers have access to permanent paid sick days,” added Warren.

“The NDP has made it clear this is not the end, it’s the beginning. In order for this deal to work, the NDP will have to keep pressure on the Liberal government to deliver,” said Warren.


For further information:

Marty Warren, USW National Director, 416-544-5951
Kim Hume, USW Communications, 416-544-6002, khume@usw.ca

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234 Eglinton Ave. E., 8th Floor
Toronto, ON M4P 1K7