Governments must commit to repairing care economy on global care day

October 29, 2021

Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress, made the following statement for the Global Day of Action for Care.

“The reality is, each and every one of us has needed and will need to be cared for.”

“Today, Canada’s unions join workers and organizations around the world marking the Global Day of Action for Care.”

“We have all seen how COVID-19 has devastated families and communities and how care work has been exploited and undervalued. Canada’s unions join the International Trade Union Confederation in calling for increased investment in better jobs for care workers and immediate action to build a more resilient and robust care system. We must learn from this crisis and repair our tattered social safety net.”

“We saw the failures of our long-term care system during this pandemic, the ongoing strain on our nurses and health care workers, and the additional stresses and risk put on domestic workers, child care providers and others who could not work from home. We saw the increased burden of unpaid care work that led so many women to leave the workforce altogether. No one can deny our care systems are broken.”

“If governments are serious about building an inclusive and equitable recovery, they must invest in better, safer jobs and quality public health and care services.”

“Care work includes health care and mental health, child care, early childhood education, care for the elderly and people with disabilities, domestic work, and other vital social and health care services that support our families and communities. It is a sector dominated by low-wage and often precarious workers who are predominantly women. Racialized, immigrant and migrant women are disproportionately represented in these jobs.”

“Public investments in the care economy would begin addressing the pandemic’s impact on women’s labour force participation by reducing and redistributing the unfair distribution of unpaid care work, creating high-quality green jobs and helping meet current and rising care needs – creating a more equitable and resilient care system.”

“This is vital work that deserves dignity, respect, social protection, and fair compensation. Only through policies and programs that strengthen our social infrastructure and recognize the value of this work will we achieve an equitable and inclusive economic recovery – and be prepared to deal with future disasters.”

Canada’s unions call on the Government of Canada to:

• Prioritize the signing of child care agreements with the remaining provinces and territories and increase investment in early learning and child care workers;
• Form a Care Economy Commission to study, design and implement a comprehensive Canadian care strategy;
• Ratify the International Labour Organization’s Convention 189 on decent work for domestic workers;
• Offer a pathway to permanent residency to all migrant workers and ensure migrant workers have comprehensive worker protections to prevent exploitation and abuse;
Invest in public social infrastructure and care work as part of Canada’s commitment to green jobs amid the climate crisis.

To arrange an interview with Bea Bruske, contact:

CLC Media Relations
Cell: 343-549-8397

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