Alberta Conservatives Start Governing by Attacking Worker Rights and Future Generations

The newly elected United Conservative Party under Jason Kenney announced in the speech from the throne that their main priority is to drive wages down for workers, remove protections for workers at work, defund their political opposition, and undermine future generations in Alberta and around the world. Bill 1 is to attack the environment – kicking them while they are down. Bill 2 is going to attack workers, their unions, wages, youth, and health & safety for employees.

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So, anti-union legislation is right after the first bill that attacks the environment. Though, like the Ford government in Ontario, they say the opposite of what the legislation does. If it says “strengthen”, “protection” or “rights”, the legislation does the exact opposite.

Speech from the Throne:

“Bill 2 will be the Open for Business Act.It will strengthen the rights of Alberta workers within unions, promote job creation for young Albertans, and retain recent advancements in compassionate leave. This will be followed in the autumn by further labour reforms to protect workers and help employers create more jobs.”

Anti-worker policy from the UPC:

To restore workplace democracy, enhance freedom of association, and protect worker rights, a UCP government will:

  • Restore the mandatory secret ballot for union certification votes.
  • Protect workers from being forced to fund causes and political parties without explicit opt-in approval.
  • Reverse the replacement worker ban in the public sector.
  • Require the Labour Relations Board to provide legal support to all union workers in order to better understand and exercise their rights.

Plus a complete gutting of health and safety, regulation of workplace abuses, and wages.

Other issues highlighted that should raise concerns:

  • The Choice in Education Act.
  • Fair Access to Regulated Professions and Trades Act.
  • Following the Ford government in the review of public services financing.
  • “Further legislation anticipated for 2020 will address matters related to democratic reform, economic growth and environmental protection, public infrastructure, charitable giving, municipal governance, the economic rights of artists, conservation and outdoor recreation, and family law.”