Gander billboard decries cuts to EI Processing Centre

GANDER, NL – For the next six months a portion of Gander’s skyline will bare a message for the Harper government: Public Services are as Canadian as my morning coffee.

“The vast majority of Canadians did not give Harper a mandate to cut the services they depend on,” says Jeannie Baldwin, Regional Executive Vice-President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

In August, the government announced that EI Processing Centres will be reduced from 120 to 22 by 2014. 600 jobs will be lost nationally and 167 in the Atlantic. In Newfoundlandand Labrador EI processing Centres is Gander, Grand Falls, Corner Brookand GooseBaywill be phased out. Gander’s centre will lose 28 positions and become a “service centre” with a skeleton staff.

These workers are members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. The Unionbelieves that eliminating quality, sustainable jobs is not a sound economic plan for growth and prosperity.

The massive billboard demands that the centre stay open and invites the public to contact MP Peter Penashue, the only Conservative representative in the province, and demand that he do something about it.  Penashue recently made personal phone calls to affected members in his riding, guaranteeing the security of their jobs.

“Our members want Ottawato know they are tired of hearing platitudes about valuing the small town way of life, when it seems that the federal government is being resettled to urban Canada," says Baldwin.

PSAC members know that jobs in small communities keep people living there, buying groceries, furniture, cars, and paying taxes.

“Canadians want another choice,” says Baldwin. “They want a way forward that grows our economy and protects our long term social safety net.”

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Media are invited to a photo opportunity with affected Service Canada workers.

Where: Cooper Blvd
When: 12pm, November 23, 2011

Lesley Thompson, PSAC Communications, 902-471-6201