P.E.I. Federation of Labour president Carl Pursey
The message from union members and politicians was clear at this year's Labour Day barbecue at Joe Ghiz Park.
Cuts to employment insurance by the federal government have caused a dramatic effect on labour unions.
P.E.I. Federation of Labour president, Carl Pursey said relations are good on P.E.I but they can be improved.
"It could be worse, and it may get a lot worse with the cuts that the Harper government has proposed for everything."
Pursey said there are no big issues with labour on P.E.I.
"We get along well with the Minister of Labour, when ever we need to meet with her (Janice Sherry) she is always available to us."
There is one thing Pursey eluded to as a problem on P.E.I., Islanders that continue to find work out west.
"We're losing all our workers because everybody is going to Alberta to work and we're not going to have workers here. We've got to get together with businesses and find ways to keep workers here."
The cuts to employment insurance don't just affect the workers, he said.
"It affects the businesses too because with less money to spend in the community there is less money to go around and the business are going to feel it."
Pursey said they need to find a way to stop the cuts that Harper has proposed because with cuts to everything it will mean less money for government.
"It means an increase in taxes and there will be less people to tax because most of the people are heading out west to find work. Even the seasonal employers are having trouble filling positions."
He said every time he steps on a plane even more people are going out west.
"Now some are even talking about moving their families out west, so if more families move from here, it's going to be less in payments coming back from Ottawa based on our population."
Lori MacKay is president of CUPE on P.E.I., which represents the public sector workers, such as health care, police and firemen. She said they've noticed a lot more anecdotes about people starting to leave.
"People are talking about it but there is no scientific research that says look people are leaving but you really hear it from a lot more people."
She touched on Pursey's point about more people loading up families and heading out to Alberta.
"What used to happen when the boom happened, people would go out and the mother and children would stay here and the father would go back and forth," she explained.
"They would do it that way for a number of years but eventually the family unit would break down or the whole family picks up and moves to Alberta."
MacKay said they are still trying to lobby the federal government to make changes to the EI system.
"We need to go back to a similar system of what we had before, any system needs to change and re-tweak over time."
Malpeque MP Wayne Easter, said he thinks the government of today needs to re-think its stance on EI position.
"The seasonal industries and seasonal workers are important and we're a region of seasonal industries here, we've got fishing, farming and tourism as our main industries. It's important to have an EI system that is fair to those industries."
Easter said Canada needs to attract more year-around industries.
"We're seeing a lot of service centers being offshored to India and else where, that's because they have different labour standards in those countries, we need to find a way to keep service industries in Atlantic Canada instead of shipping them off to other parts of the world."
Both Pursey and MacKay said they are preparing for a big push now that the summer is over.