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Letter to the Editor – A Stronger Economy is Possible

Dear Editor,


A Stronger Economy is Possible.


The Province’s Auditor General recently delivered her report on the province’s financial statements for the year ending March 31st, 2019.  Quick off the mark, one can hear the beating of the “austerity” drum as we are reminded that we are spending beyond our means, and that means, as the December 19th Telegram editorial states, “Really tough decisions have to be made.”


It’s easy in tough times to feed the argument of excessive government spending and make austerity the optimal solution.  There is no doubt that our province faces significant economic and social challenges.  We keep hearing the narrative of Newfoundland & Labrador’s (NL’s) “spending” problem.  Is that really accurate?


Are we ignoring the fact that NL has the lowest public expenditure per GDP in all of Atlantic Canada?


Does anyone take notice of the other fact that NL has seen its oil revenues decline significantly over the past 7 years, the same period of time that coincides with the 7 consecutive deficits that we have incurred?


Oil has gone from being over 30% of total government revenues to 13.8% of total revenues for the fiscal year 2018/19, mainly due to the volatility of oil markets.  That’s a revenue problem.  We also produce a lot more oil currently than we did ten years ago.


Our over-dependence and reliance on this sector for revenue has really hurt our economy. Relying on oil to solve our fiscal issues has not worked in the past, so expecting a different result now is not likely.


What about other options?


January 14th, 2020|Latest News|

OP-ED: Newfoundland & Labrador Now Has the Second Lowest Minimum Wage in Canada

On October 1st, Newfoundland and Labrador became the province with the second lowest minimum wage in the country.  In a province that has over 13,000 minimum wage workers (the majority of which are women), we need to commit to doing better for minimum wage workers and work towards a $15 minimum wage now.


A minimum wage worker in our province working a 40-hour week earns $23,712 annually, which guarantees them remaining as part of the working poor.  Our government’s answer to addressing a low minimum wage is to increase the wage based on the previous annual rate of inflation for Canada.  Based on last year’s rate of inflation, that would increase the wage to around $11.65, an increase of $10 a week.  A recent report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) found that a minimum wage worker in St. John’s would need to work 55 hours a week, every week, just to afford the rent for a one-bedroom apartment. 


October 2nd, 2019|Latest News|




The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour (NLFL) represents 25 affiliated unions, 500 union locals and 65,000 working women and men in every sector of our economy, in every community in our Province.



For more than 80 years, the NLFL has worked to advance the rights of all working people. We advocate on issues such as occupational health and safety and workers compensation, ‘as worker and human rights. The NLFL also advocates for a strong public sector, improved public services, along with public policy and laws that support our principles of social and economic justice.



‘We Are NL’ is a campaign launched by Common Front NL, a broad based coalition of labour, social justice and community groups representing over 100,000 Newfoundlander’s and Labradorians. Together we represent the majority in our province who believe that despite the current fiscal situation, we can and we must have an economy that works for everyone, leaving no one behind.

We are advocating for a $15 minimum wage for our province. Please visit www.fairnessnl.ca and sign our petition.


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VICTORY! Injured Workers Win a Raise

It is now official.

On Monday, February 26, 2018, The NL Government finally legislated an increase to the WCB Income Replacement Rate (IRR) for injured workers from 80 to 85%.  We acknowledge the Minister responsible for WorkplaceNL, the Hon. Sherry Gambin-Walsh for meeting with us, listening to us, and taking our concerns forward to government on our behalf.  Injured workers deserve no less.

The NLFL would like to thank all the affiliates, workers and allies who assisted and supported our campaign efforts.  Concerted political action does work.  We made a strong case, backed with solid background information, that increasing the IRR was long overdue and a matter of fairness and justice.

Our work remains focused on improving worker health and safety, and ensuring all injured workers are treated with respect and dignity.

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The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour (NLFL) Sector Council Project was established in 2007 to promote and support the development of sector safety councils in the province.