Federation organizes royalty rally in Ft. McMurray so workers in Alberta's oil sands heartland can speak for themselves

    AFL dismisses so-called "grassroots" event at Legislature as "a gathering
    for small business bosses who've bought into Big Oil's scare tactics"

    EDMONTON, Oct. 16 /CNW/ - If you want to know what rank-and-file oil
industry workers really think of about energy royalties, don't go to the
so-called "Grassroots Oil Workers Rally" at the Legislature tomorrow - go to
the rally being held Thursday night in the heart of Alberta's oil sands
    "Despite it's billing, tomorrow's rally isn't really a grassroots oil
workers rally - it's a rally for the bosses and managers of small to
medium-sized energy companies," says Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta
Federation of Labour.
    "These are people who have bought into the scare tactics currently being
used by Big Oil. Obviously, they have a right to speak for themselves. But
let's be clear: they don't speak for anything close to a majority of Albertans
working in the oil patch or related industries."
    In an effort to give the thousands of people working in Fort McMurray a
platform of their own, the AFL - along with the International Brotherhood of
Electrical Workers and the Communication, Energy Paperworkers union - will be
hosting a rally and information forum at the Timberline Ballroom in the
Sawridge Hotel, starting at 9 p.m.

    What:   The Real Oil Workers Rally and Forum
    Where:  The Timberline Room, Sawridge Hotel, 530 MacKenzie Boulevard,
            Fort McMurray
    When:   9-10:30 p.m., Thursday, October 18

    Speakers at the union-sponsored event will include McGowan, IBEW's Barry
Salmon and others. There will also be an open mike for people to speak from
the floor.
    "It's always scary when the people who sign your paycheques start talking
about job loss," says McGowan. "But it's clear that a strong majority of
workers in this province - regardless of what industries they happen to be in
- want a much better deal on the resources that we all own collectively as
citizens. And they're not about to back down just because a few cranky CEOs
have been rattling their sabres."
    "Right now, Big Oil is behaving like a kid throwing a tantrum," concludes
McGowan. "They're stamping their feet and making threats. But they're not
about to leave the sandbox - because there's too much money to be made and,
frankly, because there's nowhere else for them to go."

For further information:

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

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Alberta Federation of Labour

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