Employment Insurance Reforms help no one

So King Stephen is gutting Employment Insurance. Surprise, surprise. Another slap in the face for maritimers who make their living working at seasonal jobs. Phooey on him! At least we’re a resiliant bunch and I’m quite sure we’ll survive. Let’s face it, we made it through the collapse of the cod fishery, The CN shops closure in Moncton and everything else that’s been tossed at us. We’ll get through this as well. It looks like we have no choice. Repeat users of EI are going to be “forced” to go to work at jobs that pay less than they normally make. It’s pure genius!

For one thing, no one will work at seasonal jobs anymore. Example, if an employee works for six months at a peat moss plant, then gets laid off, they will have no choice but to find another job. No employer is going to hire them if they state on their application that they will be quitting as soon as the Peat Moss Plant re-opens, so they’ll have no choice but to give up their seasonal job. The employees will find year round work in the cities and either commute or move. Problem solved. Or is it?

My concern will be what happens to the employers who own these

disgruntled fish plant worker

businesses that only operate seasonally. Fish canneries, Fishermen, peat moss plants, farms etc. These are just a few that employ thousands of people in the maritime provinces. So what will they do when they aren’t able to hire any locals anymore? Simple, they’ll just import workers from other countries. Oh wait a minute. That’s what the Harper government is complaining about. They think it’s unacceptable that businesses should import foreigners to do jobs in communities where there are people who are collecting EI.

Let me spell this out so you brain-dead feds can understand

disgruntled peat moss employee

something. If jobs at McDonalds and Burger King paid more than minimum wage, you wouldn’t be importing foreign workers. They can afford to come here because they don’t pay property taxes and mortgages. Not to mention ten bucks an hour looks like a fortune compared to the wages they get in their own country. Meanwhile, a person collecting the top EI benefit (that they paid into) can make more than that staying home. Do you need a degree in rocket science to put this together? Who wants to go to work slinging fries for less money than they make collecting EI? No one I can think of.

To sum things up, seasonal businesses will now be hiring foreign workers who will no doubt go back home once the season is over and spend their money there, while the seasonal workers from Canada who’ve been kicked off EI will have to work for a smaller wages and have less disposable income. Great thinking King Stephen! The few bucks you save on EI payments will look like a drop in the bucket once you start bailing out businesses that fail due to lack of skilled help. And how bout the restaurants and bars that’ll close when people can’t afford to go to them? Will you be bailing them out too? Whoever came up with the quote “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” sure doesn’t have anything to do with federal politics.

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6 Responses to Employment Insurance Reforms help no one

  1. Red Foreman says:

    good points but hard to get much sympathy from those of us who work year-round. The UI program is mainly subsidized by our contribution to it, though none of us get any bonuses from the government for not using it. We have to cover vehicle usage, fuel, insurance , to get to work year-round. We miss holidays, weekends, school events, and important family times. We pay for childcare year-round; many of us commute long distances-often in dangerous weather, to get to work. Many on UI have boats, 4 wheelers, and other toys that many of us year-round workers cannot afford…….many can go on trips, play recreational sports and join groups that we often can’t due to work commitments. Their children can get student loans and they collect a decent family allowance cheque……many of us are not allowed to benefit from this…..punished once again. There has been so much abuse to the UI system over the years and many living quite lavish lifestyles while working a few weeks a year (not to mention the cashola collected under the table) Many firsherman’s “helpers” sat home all summer then collected the biggest stamps…….boooooofigginhoooooooo………..if there hadn’t been so much abuse in the past-the system would be functioning like it should for those who need it right now. Once again, the public has shot itself in the foot.

    • hitthelites says:

      I suppose lots of people will agree with your opinion, however it’s kind of one sided. For one thing, the EI program isn’t in trouble financially, the feds just want to keep collecting the same premiums while paying out less. Secondly, there are far too many people living in places like the north shore who have no choice but to use the system, there simply isn’t anything else for them. If these changes do come into effect, you’ll see a lot of places become ghost towns. And when the people leave, who’s going to work at the seasonal businesses that are still there? It isn’t that simple I’m afraid…

  2. Red Foreman says:

    Part of the problem is that the system has been so lax that people have developed a heavy reliance on it. It is supposed to be a backup….a support between jobs. We are supposed to work year-round but many make a career out of simply “getting my stamps.” Many teenagers finish school or quit early with the only goal in mind being to collect EI after working only a few weeks, then sitting on their behinds the rest of the year. To me, this is almost the equivalent of collecting social assistance.
    Not so long ago, the EI system did not exist. People survived. They were resourceful. They wasted less……they relied on self and did what they had to do to get by. This system has encouraged passiveness…..and a generation of people that are less capable of relying on themselves. In the past people did work away during the week and were happy to get any kind of employement. They budgeted and managed. This generation, regardless of being on EI or social assistance ….most have cell phones, computers, and all the latest gadgets…..I believe people would go without food before these luxuries.
    Since it has been so easy to collect benefits, people have not been forced to put on their thinking caps….and figure out how to make a living. It has been all to convenient to take the easy way out……The government needs to come up with ways to ensure everyone has access to training programs and encourage education, education, education……it’s the only way out of this……

    • hitthelites says:

      Okay Red Foreman, if that’s your real name, great points but you’re not addressing the whole problem. If you have a seasonal job and no longer qualify for benefits, or are forced to drive an hour for less pay, are you going to do it? What if there are no other jobs in your area? Should everyone move? And what about the businesses that can no longer attract employees? There are hundreds, if not thousands of them in the maritimes who are complaining already that they won’t be able to hire enough staff if these changes are implemented. I’m assuming a lot of this isn’t registering as your name “red foreman” makes me think you have some sort of position of authority, no doubt over-paid and under worked…..

  3. Red Foreman says:

    Judging by your nasty comments, this blog is apparently only meant to express your personal opinion-therefore, you should block the “reply” section so you can avoid the public’s comments……

    • hitthelites says:

      Of course not. I love to hear what the public has to say. But is “Red Foreman” public? Private? You should have a serious talk with whoever named you that…

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