EI benefits tougher to access
The new EI reforms implemented by the federal government have led to a big jump in the number of people refused access to employment insurance.
Labour groups say this is hurting working families and seasonal workers - they've had to look for jobs that pay as low as 70 percent of their previous salaries and may be up to 100 kilometres away in order to be eligible.
Those unable to receive EI have been forced on welfare, liquidating their assets in order to qualify.
Some 150,000 people have been refused access between January and May.
Jean Lortie, secretary-general of the CSN, thinks the new restrictions, coupled with a weakening economy, may spell disaster for Quebec.
"It's the perfect storm to get back into a recession," he says. "People don't have the money to sustain their basic needs and there are no jobs available."
Lortie adds that, with Quebec having already shed 30,000 jobs in July and seasonal employees soon finding themselves out of work, tens of thousands more workers are going to be finding themselves cash-strapped in the coming months.