Newsletter

Publisher:  Halifax Coalition for Full Employment, Halifax, Canada
Year Published:  1978  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX779

A newsletter about how unemployment insurance overpayments and "cheating" are handled in Nova Scotia.

Abstract:  The Halifax Coalition for Full Employment is "an independant group of labour organizations, women's and community groups, working and unemployed individuals united in the fight for decent work and decent wages." It has recently opened an Unemployment Insurance Commision Advisory Centre to service those in Nova Scotia who received computer overpayments in late 1977. presently, the federal government is trying to collect the money handed out by its own miscalculations. 5,058 Nova Scotians received up to five weeks payments the government says they should not have received. Demanding the return of the money is in fact draining the pockets of those surviving on subsistance income. (an average weekly payment for men is $94 and for women $68.)
The coalition also undertakes to explode a variety of myths about unemployment. As they see it, unemployment is the deliberate attempt on the part of business and government to sacrifice welfare of workers interests for profit on the part of large corporations. Ontario Provincial Treasurer, Darcy McKeough, has said that unemployment "can exert a positive influence on labour market performance." The Unemployment Insurance Commision itself admits that for every $1 it is defrauded of by a worker, a company rips them off for $3. Yet they recently spent $2-3 million on advertising in order to catch 1-2 percent of workers who cheat (an average of $1,000 per "crook"). The coalition sees this as an overt attempt to vilify the image of the unemployed in the eyes of the public.
The Halifax coalition notes that work is being done in other centres such as Montreal and Newfoundland to prepare the case against U.I.C. on the overpayment issue.
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