Pallister Government Proposes Agenda of Layoffs for Front-Line Workers While Full-Time Jobs Disappear

The Pallister Government’s agenda of cuts and layoffs for front-line workers is undermining services for families while an uncertain economy reels from thousands of full-time job losses, Interim NDP Leader Flor Marcelino said today.

“Since Pallister became premier, nearly 14,000 full-time jobs have disappeared while he wastes time and millions of dollars on ideological reviews,” Marcelino said. “His reckless commitment to austerity is damaging our economy and is hurting services for everyday families.”

Today, Statistics Canada reported 13,700 jobs have been lost since May and more Manitobans have given up looking for work – the worst unemployment situation since 1997. That bad news follows revelations that Pallister wants to unilaterally rip up existing contracts and roll back wages for front-line workers who provide health care, education and social services for Manitoba families, Marcelino noted.

“The premier has manufactured a financial crisis to justify his ideological agenda, but he and his cabinet have taken undeserved raises of about 40 per cent,” Marcelino said. “That is a failure of leadership and displays a deep disregard for accountability.”

As well as watching 14,000 jobs disappear, the Pallister government has:

  • Opened the door to two-tier medical care;
  • Refused to raise the minimum wage;
  • Cut investments in infrastructure by 20 per cent;
  • Interfered in collective bargaining, precipitating a strike that hurt thousands of students;
  • Threatened to roll back existing public-sector contracts;
  • Laid off front-line service providers; and
  • Stalled funding for community service providers.

“The Pallister government should be focused on job creation, training and investing in strong services for families,” Marcelino said. “Instead, it’s focused on cutting services, jobs and wages.”