This week, the world will mark the Global Day of Action for Care. COVID-19 has devastated families and communities and revealed how care work has been exploited and undervalued.
Canada’s unions have written to the Prime Minister to, in the wake of this crisis, direct his new Cabinet to make Canada’s economic recovery equitable and inclusive through real, substantial, and long-term investments in the care economy while taking concrete action to address how women, especially low-wage women, were disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
“As you prepare to meet this commitment in the new Parliament, you must do more than just appoint a Cabinet based on gender parity. Instead, it is imperative that you also provide the new Cabinet with instructions to take concrete action to address the significant setbacks to women’s labour force participation over the last 18 months,” Canadian Labour Congress, Bea Bruske, writes in her letter to the Prime Minister.
Bruske’s letter also pointed out how the care sectors are dominated by low-wage and often precarious workers who are predominantly women. Racialized, immigrant, and migrant women are disproportionately represented in these jobs.
“The majority of this work is performed by women – 96% of child care workers are women and in long-term care facilities, 90% of paid staff are women, who are often working in poor and unjust conditions, for low wages,” said Bruske. “And yet, despite women’s labour force participation being at its lowest level in 30 years, we have not seen adequate investment in the sectors which are dominated by women, nor in the critical social infrastructure that they need in order to balance work and care responsibilities”
“Public expenditure in the care economy would help us meet our current and rising care needs and improve future outcomes – ultimately ensuring a more equitable and resilient care system and creating good, green, family-supporting jobs.”
A copy of Canadian Labour Congress Bea Bruske’s letter to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is available on request.
To receive a copy of the letter or arrange an interview with Bea Bruske, contact:
CLC Media Relations