Steelworkers Applaud Alberta Government's Modernization of Workplace Legislation

EDMONTON, May 25, 2017 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers (USW) is applauding the Government of Alberta for keeping its promise to modernize the province's decades-old employment legislation, aligning it with the rest of Canada and supporting family-friendly workplaces.

The Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act will help grow the middle class by improving access to collective bargaining that in turn leads to higher standards for Alberta workers and an improved ability to support families, communities and local businesses, says USW Western Canada Director Stephen Hunt.

"Through collective bargaining, Alberta workers can improve their standard of living and that of their families. A growing middle-class not only benefits those individuals, but also local businesses and communities," says Hunt.

The union says while it welcomes steps to improve and streamline the union certification process, it is disappointed the government chose a super-majority of 65% rather than a more democratic 50%-plus-one threshold to demonstrate support for unionization.

The union also applauds changes to the Employment Standards Code to ensure work is family-friendly. The changes will provide access to leave for workers to care for family members, align maternity and parental leave with federal guidelines, introduce new mandatory leaves for bereavement, personal and family responsibility and provide job protection for parents of critically ill children, children who disappear or children who die as a result of a crime.

Finally, USW is very pleased to see the inclusion of new leave for workers addressing a situation of domestic violence. This is an issue that USW and our local unions in Alberta have been championing in our workplaces through collective bargaining and such leave should be extended to all workers in Alberta.

"Premier Notley is to be commended for ensuring that Albertans benefit from workplace legislation that recognizes the modern challenges faced by workers," says Hunt.

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information: Stephen Hunt, USW Director, 604-816-2554; Brad West, USW Communications, 604-313-9185, bwest@usw.ca

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