AFL Announces New Environment Policy for 21st Century

To mark this year's Earth Day, the Alberta Federation of Labour is announcing a new Environment Policy for Alberta's labour movement. The policy is intended to guide unions in making decisions about Alberta's environment.

The policy was ratified at the AFL's biennial convention in Calgary last week. The policy paper passed with resounding support from delegates.

"The labour movement is looking forward. We know that environmental change must happen, and we need to be a constructive part of the discussion," says Audrey Cormack, AFL President.

The policy outlines a distinctly labour perspective on environmental issues. "We must end the false jobs vs. environment debate and turn it into a jobs and environment discussion," says Cormack.

Among other initiatives, the policy paper calls for a new type of decision-making process for environmental issues, one that includes government, business and labour working as equals. The key, says the policy, is to look at the long term and make decisions well in advance of economic change.

"Working people pay the highest price when the wrong decisions are made. We pay with our jobs and with the environment in our communities," highlights Cormack. "We need to be a part of the decisions that get made to ensure we can create a healthy environment and good jobs."

Over the years, the AFL has done its part in promoting environmental awareness and encouraging members to become more environmentally sensitive in their activities. It will become even more active in the future to ensure the voice of working people is heard.

Other highlights from the policy include calling for a "just transition" fund to help workers displaced by environmental change and demanding increased government enforcement of environmental laws and regulations. It also calls on the AFL to encourage unions to "bargain for the environment".

"The message for Albertans is clear. All of us have to take a leadership role in protecting the environment. The labour movement has heard the message," concludes Cormack.

For more information call:

Audrey Cormack, President      @ 499-6530 (cell) / 428-9367 (hm)

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