Unemployment Insurance

The MFU has forcefully defended U.I. for fishermen/women and has won the following improvements to it as well:

  • We pushed to have the benefit period moved from December 1st to November 1st.
  • We helped ensure that fishermen/women could use the best ten weeks in determining the amount of benefits.
  • The MFU appeared before the high profile Kirby Task Force in 1982 in defense of improved U.I. for fishermen/women.
  • We went before the Forget Commission in 1985 and when it appeared that the Commission was going against U.I. for fishermen/women, we joined forces with West Coast and Newfoundland fishermen/women on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. When the Commission finally made its report, the U.I. program for fishermen was left untouched.
  • In 1989, we appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Bill C21 to protest U.I. cutbacks.
  • At the MFU Convention in February, 1994, we unanimously passed a resolution endorsing the Cashin Report on Incomes and Adjustments in the Atlantic Fishery because it recommended the continuance of the U.I. program with greater flexibility, as well as suggesting other insurance programs set aside earnings in good years that can be drawn on in poor years.
  • In March, 1994, Herb Nash, president of Local 6 and vice-president for Nova Scotia, gave a video-presentation to the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development. To quote from the presentation, Herb said, "this is not the time to be increasing the number of weeks needed to qualify for unemployment... You cannot drive people into welfare and then call it social reform..."
  • MFU Locals in Northeast New Brunswick and Cape Breton participated in large rallies to protest changes to U.I. brought down in the federal budget by Paul Martin.