General Update/EI SUB & CERB Update
We hope everyone is holding up ok, our world has certainly changed over the past month. Meetings with the company have continued and we wanted to give a general update on what has been happening.
GM has notified us they will not be starting up any plants in North America, Mexico included, in the month of April. We do not have a tentative return to work date at this time as so much of the medical situation remains unstable.
We have not heard of any CAMI members, hourly or salary who have tested positive as of yet for COVID-19. That is great to hear and hopefully everyone continues to be safe. The media is now reporting that 9 auto workers in the UAW have now died due to the COVID-19 outbreak. That is terrible news and our prayers go out to all families that are affected.
Joe and Mike continue to be involved with teleconferences with the company on many of the issues of what a return to work will look like. Many different scenarios are being examined. We will not be returning to work unless we feel and agree that everyone’s safety is the overriding priority.
We have had a lot of phone calls about donating any medical equipment we had in the plant. Any masks, gloves, etc that we did have were delivered to the Ingersoll hospital almost 2 weeks ago.
One issue that was missed by both parties was the CAMI gym memberships. The gym payment is taken out quarterly and April 1 was the payment due date. We will extend everyone’s membership time when we get back to work and any other issue in regards to the gym and money will be sorted out when we get back.
Just a reminder that anyone who has a full week of vacation will be paid out vacation for that week. Anyone with single days or less than full weeks, the vacation time will be taken out and you will receive EI and SUB.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit
Employment Insurance/ S.U.B. benefits
The Liberal government has implemented a program called C.E.R.B. (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) in response to the job loss from the COVID-19. The following explanation is going to extremely piss off about 35% of our membership, due to the Liberal government mandating these changes to affect everyone in Canada. Under the rules of CERB if you became eligible for EI regular benefits on March 15, 2020 or later, your claim will be automatically processed through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. The sentence highlighted is a lift right off of the Q&A section from Service Canada. With 35% of our members starting a new claim on March 22, 2020 they will be enrolled into the CERB program at $2000 every 4 weeks or $500/week. All members in our plant are at the EI maximum of $573 and that’s not including the SUB benefit top up that range from $50 to $500.
The Liberals have rammed this language through to get people money that is needed to survive but have drastically cut benefits for a very large group of people and most people affected are unionized members. Meetings, conference calls and a letter have been sent to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development Carla Qualtrough, identifying several issues. In a conference call Monday, the National has said they are waiting for a response from the Liberals on our request that SUB benefits will not be considered as earnings against the CERB benefit. This request would allow our members to collect $500 CERB and their negotiated SUB benefit levels. We will update the Liberals response immediately on this website. Please remember this was forced on all of us from the Liberal government and complaints should be forwarded to your local Member of Parliament on how their program has negatively affected you and request changes be made to allow SUB to be collected. One last issue with E.I./CERB and the upcoming long weekends, we will not be paid for the 4-day long weekends by General Motors, you will be paid your weekly government benefit for those days.
We hope everyone remains safe during this time. If anyone has any questions or concerns please call Joe Graves or Mike Van Boekel and our 3 benefit reps are also continuing to work during this time. We will continue to meet with the company via teleconferences and will update the members when more news becomes available. Stay safe!