Contractors Group says Union Leaders' Secret Agenda will hurt Albertans

    EDMONTON, Feb. 28 /CNW/ - Edmonton-based Merit Contractors Association of
Alberta launched a second ad campaign challenging union leaders fronting the
"Albertans for Change" coalition to come clean about their secret agenda for
    Merit's campaign responds to new attack ads against the Stelmach
government from the labour coalition headed up by leaders of the Alberta
Federation of Labour (AFL) and the Alberta Building Trades Council (ABTC).
    In Edmonton, Stephen Kushner, President of Merit Contractors Association,
stated, "For the first time in Alberta's history, union leaders are
aggressively spending mandatory union dues to try to unseat a provincial
government with expensive American style attack ads. These ads make no mention
of Alberta's labour laws or workplaces. Merit believes union leaders have a
secret hidden agenda that if implemented will not be good for Albertans."
    The Merit ads charge "Albertans for Change" is nothing more than an
Albertan version of the "Working Families" special interest organization set
up by Ontario union leaders to help Ontario Liberals gain power in 2003 and
get re-elected in 2007.
    "The payback costs in Ontario were high - especially in the construction
industry," says Kushner. After being elected, Dalton McGuinty's government
rewrote Ontario's labour laws that, among other things, took away the right of
construction workers to have a secret ballot vote on unionization elections.
    The Albertans for Change ads say nothing about changing Alberta's labour
laws. However, the legislative proposals of the organizations financing the
ads call for similar changes to be made in Alberta. Kushner noted, "This
election is similar in tone to recent Ontario elections when labour laws were
not debated. Yet, after reading the platforms of both Opposition parties, it's
clear they have bought into the union leaders demands. Albertans should know
this information when they cast their ballots on March 3 and not let union
leaders tell them how to vote."

For further information:

For further information: Stephen Kushner, President, Merit Contractors
Association, Tel: (780) 455-5999; Bill Stewart, Vice-President, Merit
Contractors Association, Tel: (780) 455-5999

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