Canadian Manufacturing

Unifor calls for more than five paid sick days for workers in B.C.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative reports that nine in every ten B.C. workers with an income less than $30,000 has no access to paid sick leave.

November 25, 2021  by CM Staff

Woman on couch wiping nose with tissue and looking at thermometer. (CNW Group/Unifor)

VANCOUVER — According to Unifor, the provincial government has failed the B.C. workers by succumbing to pressure from employers to minimize paid sick days.

“It is a failure in leadership,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “According to the Horgan government, ten paid sick days is good enough for the federal sector but not good enough for the majority of B.C.’s most vulnerable workers.”

The announcement on Nov. 24 that the B.C. government will legislate five employer-paid sick days as the statutory minimum comes as a surprise to many, since the Prime Minister has publicly committed to making ten paid sick days the policy for workers regulated by the federal government. There is province-wide support in B.C. for making ten days the provincial standard.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative reports that nine in every ten B.C. workers with an income less than $30,000 has no access to paid sick leave.

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“Illness spreading in the workplace will only harm employers in the long-term, so ultimately such a timid approach to sick leave will benefit no one,” said McGarrigle. “It is very disappointing that the Horgan government couldn’t follow the Trudeau government’s lead.”

“When it comes to public health, B.C.’s workers need a government that listens to them, not one that cuts deals with a handful of powerful employers,” added McGarrigle.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy.