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ACTRA CALLS ON FEDERAL OPPOSITION TO SUPPORT EXTENSION OF PARENTAL LEAVE TO SELF-EMPLOYED WORKERS

October 2, 2009 — Toronto – The union representing Canada’s film and television performers is calling on all federal political parties to support the Conservative government’s plan to introduce new rules extending parental leave benefits to self-employed Canadians.

“Our union has been fighting for years to get governments at all levels to recognize that our members, like all self-employed Canadians, deserve the same rights and access to benefits as other workers. This is a positive first step by the federal government and so we are urging all parties to support the extension of parental leave benefits to all workers,” said Ferne Downey, ACTRA National President.

The majority of ACTRA’s 21,000 members are among the 2.6 million Canadians who are self-employed and therefore have not been entitled to basic benefits such as Employment Insurance.

Stephen Waddell, ACTRA’s National Executive Director said, “This legislation is a question of basic fairness and equal treatment for Canadian workers. We’re calling on the, Liberals, NDP and the Bloc to avoid an election and get this initiative passed into law.”

ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national organization of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of 21,000 members across Canada – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community.

For more information:
Carol Taverner, Public Relations Officer
(416) 644-1519, ctaverner@actra.ca , cell: (416) 768-3336


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