A group representing a wide range of private sector businesses has launched a public information campaign they hope will motivate Albertans to ask the Notley government tough questions about anticipated changes to the province’s labour laws.
Keep Alberta Working is a campaign of the Alberta Growth Initiative (AGI), a group with board members from the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association, the Canadian Meat Council, Restaurants Canada and the Alberta Enterprise Group.
“We’ve got an uncertain economic climate and we’re worried about the uncertainty this creates to the labour market and our economy as Alberta and Albertans struggle to get back on their feet after this recession,” said AGI spokesperson Paul Hartzheim. “I think it’s the wrong time for change.”
LISTEN: Are Alberta’s labour laws about to be changed?
But Alberta’s Labour Minister Christina Gray disagrees, saying Alberta needs to modernize its laws.
“We have said that Alberta’s labour legislation is out of date and needs to be looked at to ensure it is fair, modern, and family friendly,” said Gray.
“Some of our labour legislation is the oldest in the country; we need to make sure that it meets the needs of today’s Albertans and is not stuck in the 1980s.”
AGI contends the Alberta government has been involved in “conversations behind closed doors with union leaders,” and that those discussions could lead to more union-friendly labour laws and policies. Gray said that is untrue.
“We’ve not held consultations with any stakeholder,” said Gray. “There will be an opportunity for everyone to have input.”
AGI said it’s concerned potential legislation changes could ban replacement workers, implement first-contract arbitration and eliminate secret ballot voting. (twd, Newstalk770)