Labour Media release

Media release: Halifax Workers’ Action Centre – Urgent health and emergency protections needed

In light of COVID-19, the Halifax Workers’ Action Centre (Halifax-WAC) is calling on the Provincial Government to take urgent and comprehensive action to protect vulnerable workers. 

The Halifax-WAC asks that the following measures be implemented immediately: 

  • Provide 12 annual paid personal days, accrued at 1 day / month, which can be used for personal illness, family illness, injury, or emergency (scheduled or unscheduled). 
  • Provide 21 days of paid emergency leave (in addition to the personal days) for employees who are forced to abstain from working because of a public health crisis. 
  • Prohibit employers from demanding medical documentation to substantiate claims of short-term illness. 
  • Vigorously protect employees from reprisals when enforcing their workplace rights. 
  • Expand access to collective bargaining. 
  • Make clear that racism and xenophobia will not be tolerated. 
  • Reduce hours required to qualify for Employment Insurance benefits. 
  • Ensure everyone receives Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) regardless of immigration status. 
  • Increase income assistance benefits. 
  • Expedite income assistance applications. 
  • Impose a moratorium on all evictions. 
  • Restore rent control in Nova Scotia. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has put a growing number of Nova Scotians at immediate financial risk,” said Lisa Cameron, organizer with the Halifax-WAC. “The Provincial Government must take urgent action.” 

The Halifax-WAC is a not-for-profit committed to improving the lives and working conditions of low-waged and marginalized workers. It provides systemic advocacy through campaigns like the Fight for 15 and Fairness and one-on-one support for workers facing difficulty in their individual employment relationships.


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