FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2012
TORONTO – The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) applauds government’s efforts to address two pressing concerns for the restaurant industry – the shortage of skilled and unskilled workers in many parts of the country, and employment insurance (EI) premium increases that act as a tax on hiring.
“A nearly $9-billion deficit in the EI fund is a concern for the employers and employees who fund the program,” says Garth Whyte, CRFA’s President and CEO. “Too many businesses are forced to turn to temporary foreign workers when there are qualified, unemployed Canadians receiving EI in their very neighbourhoods.”
It is important that EI program objectives align with a strategy to address current and impending labour shortages. Some businesses have been criticized for bringing in temporary foreign workers when unemployed Canadians could effectively fill these roles. Changes to better connect these unemployed Canadians with employers needing workers are reasonable and would be welcomed by the restaurant industry.
“We just need government to spell out how they plan to make these changes,” says Joyce Reynolds, CRFA’s Executive Vice-President Government Affairs. “Canada is facing unprecedented labour shortages, yet we still have Canadians who are out of a job. Changes that will alleviate the labour shortage, reduce unemployment and help tackle the EI fund deficit are needed.”
CRFA is one of Canada’s largest business associations, with more than 30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and other foodservice providers. Canada’s $63-billion restaurant industry employs more than one million people in communities across the country.
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