The economic crisis relating to COVID-19 continues to harm Local 3000 and create great hardship for our membership, with more lay-offs and unit closures announced within the last week.
If you have been impacted or lost your hours, please apply for regular EI as soon as possible. You can apply prior to receiving your Record of Employment (ROE). If your Employer doesn't submit your ROE directly to Service Canada, or to yourself, please contact your Local 3000 Service Representative. Would also like to clarify that if you're laid-off you have recall rights to return to your former position, with your full seniority intact when you’re back at the workplace.
Regarding those who don't qualify for regular EI, the federal government has announced an "Emergency Support Benefit" that will come into effect in April for workers ineligible for EI.
The provincial NDP government has also just announced measures to support workers. A "B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers" is a one-time payment for those laid off of $1000 in addition to what they receive from EI or the federal Emergency Benefit. Applications for it will open in April. The province is also increasing the Climate Action Tax Credit, enhancing housing supports, freezing payments for student loans, and BC Hydro and ICBC are now allowing a payment deferral on bills.
During lay-off or unpaid leave, the Union will not be charging any dues, and we have decided to waive the clause to collect union dues if you're working for a different Employer while laid-off as is usually required under Article 5 B. 13 of the Unifor Constitution.
If you're struggling with bills during this period, Community Savings Credit Union is offering a zero-interest line of credit for up to 6 months www.comsavings.com/Personal/AboutUs/Helping%20Hands/
Finally, on the issue of benefits, we are continuing to press Employers to extend benefits for workers, and are attempting to ensure, at a minimum, that members have the right to pay some premium to maintain them if they are off from work for a long period. Please contact your Local 3000 Service Representative for details on where we are at with your specific Employer.
I'm optimistic that we will all pull through this, and that there will soon be a return to normalcy. I hope you and your family are persevering through this, please contact us if there's any other support or solidarity we can provide, or if you have any additional questions.
And check http://unifor.org/covid19 for regular updates from Unifor on the situation.