Construction Workers' protest demonstrates Labour Law Needs Changing, Now!



    Major Unions Call on Minister to Initiate a Review Immediately

    EDMONTON, Sept. 14 /CNW/ - Protests in the construction sector this week
prove that Alberta's labour laws are not working, says a senior body of labour
leaders in Alberta today. The leaders, gathered for the AFL Executive Council
meetings, issued a letter to the Minister Iris Evans demanding an immediate
review of the Labour Code to change sections preventing workers from
exercising their democratic right to strike.
    "The protests this week are the latest in a growing list of problems with
Alberta's labour law," says AFL President Gil McGowan.
    The letter sent to Evans is signed by every member of the AFL Executive
Council in attendance at the meeting. The Council represents over 118,000
workers from every sector and industry in Alberta, and is made up of senior
leaders from some of Alberta's largest unions.
    "They are on the streets and on the picket line this week to voice their
anger at a piece of legislation that denies their right to strike and to
bargain freely. The protests are not about the unsettled contract, or about a
dispute over wages and working conditions. There can be no mistake that these
workers' actions are a direct and forceful indictment of the Alberta Labour
Code," the letter to Evans reads.
    The Executive Council passed a motion calling for an immediate review of
the Labour Code and has requested a meeting with the Minister as soon as
possible.
    "So far the Minister's response to the protests has been dismissive and
insulting to workers across the province," says McGowan. "Portions of our
labour law are clearly unconstitutional, and others are alone in Canada in
their restriction of fundamental worker rights."
    "We need to change the labour law, and we need to change it now," says
McGowan.
    The letter from Council requests a meeting with the Minister within the
next 10 days to negotiate a fair and open process for reviewing and changing
the Code. It also requests that she immediately commit to a timeline for
tabling legislation.
    "The only fair and just way to respond to the workers protesting this
week is to acknowledge the failings of the labour law and take steps to
correct them," McGowan concludes.





For further information:

For further information: Gil McGowan, AFL President, at (780) 218-9888
(cell)

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Alberta Federation of Labour

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