Restaurants Canada and its membership base have concerns regarding the start of today’s strike by the Public Service Alliance Canada (PSAC) union. The strike has paused the essential work of 155,000 federal public service workers nationwide. We respect the right to collective bargaining; however, these public services are critical to our sector and must be reinstated immediately.
This comes at a particularly challenging time as tax season is upon us, adding stress to business owners and operators, as well as delaying and challenging the tax filing process as a whole; without offering an extended deadline.
Immigration is an area on which our sector heavily depends, with new Canadians entering the country every day for jobs in foodservice. Canada is already facing a critical labour shortage, and with the federal department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) being impacted by the strike, this will add to the existing backlog of unprocessed applications, leaving needed roles empty for desperate employers.
PSAC workers at ports and borders across the country are also crucial in maintaining the flow of goods and supplies restaurants require to operate – with these workers away from their jobs our sector will feel the pinch of more supply chain disruptions and slowdowns.
Restaurants and the many small and medium-sized businesses that make up the Canadian foodservice sector are pillars of our society. These businesses have struggled to move past the pandemic and are now being challenged by our nation’s economic state, this strike will only place more pressure on our sector and lengthen its recovery. Canada’s foodservice sector is the fourth-largest private-sector employer, directly employing 1.2 million people and indirectly supporting another 290,000+ jobs in related industries, with $32 billion in food and beverage products purchased every year. To avoid further loss within Canadian foodservice and more damage to Canada’s economy, Restaurants Canada is calling on all parties to implement a timely solution and end the disruption of these critical public services without an unsustainable cost to Canadians.
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