CUPE praises a private bill tabled by Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie MP
3 octobre 2011
Monday October 3, 2011 – CUPE is applauding the tabling of a
private members bill by NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice that will
afford pregnant women whose jobs fall under federal jurisdiction
preventative withdrawal for health issues. The bill brings the
Canadian code in line with the Quebec Labour Code which offers
financial compensation for women who need to take preventative
leave. The federal labour code applies to, amongst others, workers
in the airline and banking industries, the communications sector
and port authorities.
Right now, women with jobs that fall under
federal jurisdiction receive 55% of their salaries from
unemployment insurance if, for health and safety issues, they have
to leave their jobs before giving birth. These weeks are
subsequently reduced from their maternity leave. In other words,
they are forced to leave without pay.
For financial reasons, many women are obligated to stay on the job
despite the risk for themselves and their fetus. In Quebec, Workers
compensation pays up to 90% of a womans salary for preventative
withdrawal. If adopted, the bill will afford equal rights for women
under federal and provincial jurisdictions.
« CUPE has been pushing for this
type of legislation for many years. Its a question of equal rights
for pregnant women working under federal and provincial
jurisdictions. In the airline industry many flight attendants have
to make a difficult choice between financial security and
endangering their health and that of their unborn child, »
says Nathalie Stringer, flight attendant and President of the Air
Transat Component at CUPE. She adds « this is a womens health issue and were
counting on members of Parliament to support this excellent
initiative and not play partisan politics« .
With approximately 110,000 members in Quebec, CUPE represents
workers in both federal and provincial jurisdictions. They are
grouped into sectors that include the airline industry,
communications, energy, health and social services, public
transport, education and municipal services. CUPE Quebec is the
largest affiliate of the FTQ.