Unifor calls for public service investment in Alberta

EDMONTON, March 10, 2015 /CNW/ - Tough economic times means that more Albertans are relying on public services and now is the time to invest, says Canada's largest union in the private sector.

"Jim Prentice has it backwards: now is the time to fix the real problem—the Alberta government's revenue holes," said Elaine Cardinal, a spokesperson for Unifor Local 52A in Edmonton. "Cutting services during an economic downturn is like trying to put out a fire with gasoline."

Unifor is responding to the Premier's suggestions that cuts to Alberta's public sector are needed to balance the budget in the short term.

On March 7 Unifor members rallied at the legislature with other Albertans to protest the Premier and his recent comments that all Albertans should share the blame for the province's financial crisis. Protestors brought mirrors to symbolize the Premier's attempt to dodge responsibility for the budget woes, suggesting that he "look in the mirror" to find the true culprit.

"Unsustainably low corporate tax rates and regressive income taxes have gotten the Alberta government into the spot it finds itself today," said Joie Warnock, Unifor's Western Director. "It's not too late to make sensible decisions about our taxes and resource royalties to make a more secure future for Albertans."

Unifor represents 14,000 workers in Alberta, including 3,000 workers in the public sector and nearly 4,000 in the Oilsands. Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 305,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged.


For further information: please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at 778-903-6549 (cell) or Ian.Boyko@Unifor.org

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