Friday, May 25, 2012

What they don't understand about EI 

Here's what the Harper Conservatives don't understand about many EI frequent flyers:
It's not the workers that EI is subsidizing.
Its the industry they work in.
Activities like commercial fishing, vegetable and fruit growers, small-scale manufacturing, mining -- they all have grown to depend on EI to keep an experienced workforce nearby and available throughout the year.  The industry doesn't have to try to pay these workers during annual down-times, because EI will.
Here's what some of these employers are saying about the new EI rules:
. . . farmers are not looking forward to being the staging ground for Ottawa’s new social experiment, they say. They worry that years spent moulding unwilling neighbours into farmers — more a coaching gig than a business model — will put them in the red and even shut them down.
. . .  One Valley workforce available in the summer is winter lobster boat crew members who work in the Bay of Fundy. . . . About 95 per cent of the association’s roughly 520 members use EI seasonally, Hudson said. The spread between the seasons is too long for them to live off savings, and there are about seven weeks of work needed each off-season to prepare boats and equipment for the next year.
. . . Webster [fruit grower] started using seasonal migrant labour in 2010 and brought in 16 Mexican workers last year. . . . Webster, whose core employees go on EI for about four months of the year, said he’s afraid his business will pay the biggest price in next year’s dry run.
UPDATE: This also raises the larger question -- do the Harper Conservatives actually understand the Canadian economy they are trying to manage? There's a lot of talk about "not picking winners and losers" and "standing on our own feet" but the Canadian economy, in many sectors, is never going to be competitive on an international scale -- nobody here can beat the California growers, with their two or three vegetable crops a year and their easy access to thousands of migrant workers. Nobody here can beat the Florida and Louisiana fishing industries, with the whole gulf coast to harvest all year long. Nobody here can beat the mega-farms of the American mid-west, with plenty of transport options to large ports that are open year-round. The Liberals understood this -- they instituted all sorts of under-the-radar measures which subsidized our smaller-scale and less competitive Canadian industrial and agricultural producers.
Who then turned around and voted Conservative because they were successful businessmen who didn't need any gol-durned government handouts, no siree bob!  
Canada under the Harper Cons will be a bleaker and ultimately less productive place.

Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers | 9 comments


The nature of seasonal employment must be poorly understood by the fiends in government these days or more so they are purposefully obtuse and focused on their own agenda. What I do not hear is much about the nature of life in the hinterland communities where seasonal paid employment is the way most people make a living according to the official economic records, which contain nothing of all the other economic activity of the people when they are not engaged in paid employment. It is almost like they want us to think that the laid-off seasonal worker does nothing, or that the rest of us do not do anything unless we are connected to a corporation and our community relevance is related only to how much money we make. Isn't this the way of all colonialism? The destruction of the lifeworld by the brutal distortions of the market systems - the plaque of modernity that is destroying to whole planet - this would be the main concern of political conservative or political progressive but the devastation thrives as it engorges itself, beset between them.

By Blogger Zee, at 9:33 am  

Canada is too timid for a general strike at this point. But I wonder if we should somehow start encouraging people to take a day off spending. We only seem to get the attention of anyone when we are consumers, so lets flex that muscle. If you work, take a day off buying anything. What the heck, even withdraw$100 from the bank that day too. Then, the next week, do that for 2 days, and so forth. Anyone who works and gets a paycheque should realize that this is effectively the end of appealing a decision from EI. Meaning my way or nothing. We need business and banks on our side, and we get that by stopping buying and taking out cash.

Any takers?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:52 am  

You make some very good points. What stevie slime & his slimers don't understand is the money isn't theirs. It is money which belongs to the workers & employers of Canada. They paid into it. There is a surplus of some $63BILLION. stevie & the slimers used that money for other things. They dont want to have to pay it back so they want to get rid of the people who collect E.I.

Not only will the slimers' changes negatively impact seasonal employers, it will download the cost of this onto the provinces. Ole' jimmyboy wants people to move where the work is does he now?

Well its like this, who the hell can afford to move if you are seasonally employed. At one time U.I. & manpower had grants for people who needed to move to a new job. That was eliminated more than 25 yrs ago.

There is the issue of families. Some families will just not move. The families stay behind & then you will have problems with divorce rates increasing & social issues with parents leaving children behind.

I have seen cases where people were laid off, found a job in a neighouring town, rented out the house they owned for a yr, moved & got laid off there after less than a yr. Now they are in a new town, no support system, & no place to live.

People will not leave their homes for something not cast in stone & that isn't happening these days. If they are disqualified from receiving E.I. they will go on welfare & use food banks. It isn't that people don't want to work but they know life as a migraint worker isn't going to work for their children.

Jimmie's suggestions also will require a lot more workers at E.I. to review all of these claims & he just laid off a lot of those people. How does he expect this work to get done? Oh maybe he can get the work done off shore.

By Anonymous e.a.f., at 2:51 pm  

What stevie slime & his slimers don't understand is the money isn't theirs. It is money which belongs to the workers & employers of Canada.

What you don't understand is it isn't the worker's or employer's money either, or more specifically it belongs to each individual worker and employer. You assume some collective worker/employer group each helping out out of some sense of community but that's a load of horse shit. Seasonal workers get paid by EI and whether it subsidizes workers or businesses is irrelevant. What is relevant is that workers who work continuously for years on end are subsidizing those that do not.

This is not insurance, where risk factors into premiums and where if an insured's house burnt down every year he'd soon be without insurance. No, this is wealth transfer from those willing to work, or to move to find work, to those unwilling to better their own lot.

By Blogger The Rat, at 8:38 pm  

You mean, I should feel resentful and hard-done-by because I'm lucky enough to have had parents who sent me to university, and I live in an area and work in a field where there are full-time jobs?

By Blogger CathiefromCanada, at 12:10 am  

These greedy leftists are always demanding more freebies from the productive. Why should people who work all year continously subsidize people who only want to work half a year, and sit on their asses for the other half of the year?

Extremely Extreme Extremist...who is on holidays in California, a state run by The Gay Gestapo :(

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:28 am  

I max out my EI contributions in September. I pay a whopping $800 into it. If my $800 in contributions helps someone pay their rent or feed their kids, good.

Near as I can figure, the best thing I can leave behind is having helped someone else.

By Blogger karen, at 9:13 am  

Cathie said: You mean, I should feel resentful and hard-done-by because I'm lucky enough to have had parents who sent me to university, and I live in an area and work in a field where there are full-time jobs?

If there are no jobs in a person's area then they should move to another area that has jobs. The same goes for people who want a full-time job where there are only part-time jobs available.
What people should not ask is that other people subsidize their choice to live in an area that has no employment opportunities.
No one should have to subsidize a person's choice to obtain a degree with no economic value either. If a person wants to study something because they find it interesting then great - don't ask for subsidy, however, if there are no jobs for someone with a BA in Wanker.

By Blogger zeppo, at 9:45 pm  

What Karen, above, said.


By Blogger RossK, at 9:43 am  

Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Email me!