“The medicine that the Bank has, with respect to inflation, is causing a lot of pain out there.”
Lana Payne, president of Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector union, accused central bank governor Tiff Macklem of class warfare amid Bank of Canada’s aggressive interest-rate hikes to tame inflation.
“Rather than developing a tailored response intended to slow profits, stop profiteering, fix supply-chain bottlenecks and help workers keep up, policymakers have taken to blaming workers instead — including the governor of the Bank of Canada, who has basically declared a class war on working people in this country,” Payne told reporters on Monday.
Payne accused Macklem of advising employers to suppress wages, and pushing for a rise in unemployment to slow inflation. Macklem has, in two speeches prior to Payne’s comments, put forth a narrative where cooling the labor market has become the solution to easing inflation.
“The tightness in the labor market is a symptom of the general imbalance between demand and supply that is fuelling inflation and hurting all Canadians,” Macklem said at a November 10 event hosted by the Public Policy Forum.
“We know that job losses have a human cost. But because the labor market is so hot and we have an exceptionally high number of vacant jobs, there is scope to cool the labor market without causing the kind of large surge in unemployment that we have typically experienced in recessions,” he said.
New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh earlier argued that the central bank is putting the burden of reducing inflation on workers. Payne follows Singh in calling on the Bank of Canada to stop the rate hikes.
“Unifor will not tolerate this false narrative of a wage-price spiral to justify aggressive interest rate hikes plunging our economy into what is likely to be an inevitable recession,” Payne said. “We need an economy that works for everyone, not an economy that delivers only for the few.”
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