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St. John’s – In the lead up to the premiers’ meeting this week in Niagara-on-the-Lake, CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador President Wayne Lucas has written to Premier Dunderdale urging her to raise concerns on EI cuts, the neglect of CPP and the dangers of CETA.

We need to scrap the Harper government EI changes and create a better EI system that is responsive to the needs of workers,” said Lucas, commending the four Atlantic premiers for their calls to suspend the cuts and appoint a panel to review the changes.

Canadians are not saving enough for retirement,” Lucas continued, “and this problem will only get worse as future generations retire. We will pay with reduced living standards, poverty and needless suffering.” Lucas urges Dunderdale to work with the other premiers to promote expansion of the Canada Pension Plan, rather than setting up roadblocks.

On the topic of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), Lucas warned “We are in real danger of trading away our precious public services and natural resources with no guarantee of successfully competing in the EU’s own market.” He added that CUPE is concerned about the increased cost of prescription drugs under CETA, and the diminished powers of municipal governments to favour local goods and services. He urged the premier to insist that the interests of Newfoundland and Labrador be protected through these negotiations.

Lucas concludes his letter with an offer to work with the government to advance these provincial priorities on the federal level.

CUPE NL members work in school boards, municipalities, universities, child care centres, libraries and hospitals across the province, delivering important public services that make life better for the people of Newfoundland Labrador.