From the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak through the declaration of COVID-19 pandemic your union has been working to protect your health, your safety and your rights while also following the science to stop the spread of the virus.
We support the Provincial Health Officer's decision to close the province's casinos as a necessary measure to protect your physical health and stop the spread of COVID-19 but we understand that move raises concerns about your financial health in this difficult time.
We are encouraged by the federal government's financial aid package, which includes significant changes to expand the scope and availability of Employment Insurance benefits as well as a range of options for debt relief for students, homeowners and others who will struggle to make ends meet as the virus impacts our economy.
Right now we recommend that you should be applying for Employment Insurance (EI) as soon as you can.
On the application under Reason choose Other, and write "Forced Government Closure" on your application.
We expect more COVID response programs and initiatives to be announced by federal, provincial and municipal governments in the coming days and weeks and we will continue to work with our partners in the labour movement to advocate for additional measures to protect the financial health of working people such as a freeze on evictions and rent payments.
COVID-19 is an unprecedented crisis across the world and the situation is changing by the hour. Your union has set up a general information website at www.bcgeu.ca/covid - it is being updated regularly with information from your union as well as from employers across BC so check it regularly. We have also set up a dedicated email inbox to address members' questions about the crisis: email@example.com.
We will update you as we get more information from your employer throughout the pandemic. In the meantime, I encourage you to follow the recommendations of the Provincial Health Officer, trust the science and listen to expert advice on how to keep yourself, your family and your community safe and healthy. We will get through this together.
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