AFL delegates debate strategies to halt erosion of democracy

EDMONTON - Delegates to the Alberta's Federation of Labour's biennial convention will turn their attention to politics and corporate globalization tomorrow, as they participate in a panel discussion on the links between democracy, globalization and workers' rights.

The panel will be made up of four prominent activists and writers including: Linda Goyette, a two-time National Newspaper Award-winning journalist; Colleen Fuller, acclaimed author of Caring for Profit, a recent book on the spread of private health care in Canada; Scott Harris, a youth activist who participated in the demonstrations against the FTAA in Quebec City; and Rodney Bobiwash, a native activist and scholar from Ontario.

"We selected a panel that will effectively shine a spotlight on the ways in which real democracy is being eroded in Canada and around the world," says AFL president Audrey Cormack. "They will talk about how, as a result of things like NAFTA and the WTO, the interests of working people are being forced to take a back seat to the interests of corporations and the wealthy."

The panel discussion will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 5. Each panelist will speak for ten minutes. This will be followed by about an hour of discussion and debate from convention delegates.

Other highlights of the AFL convention on Saturday include the following:

  • At 3 p.m. delegates will discuss a policy paper on drugs and alcohol in the workplace
  • At 4 p.m. there will be an all-candidates forum for all those seeking election to the AFL's Executive Council, including those who are running for the positions AFL President or Secretary-Treasurer.

The AFL convention is being held at the Crowne Plaza-Chateau Lacombe Hotel, which is located at 11101 Bellamy Hill in Edmonton. All major sessions of the convention will be held in the hotel's main ballroom.

Reporters and other media personnel are asked to register at the AFL convention office (River Valley Room). Only people with proper credentials will be allowed on the convention floor. The AFL Convention wraps up at lunch-time Sunday, after the election of a new Executive Council.

For more information call:

Gil McGowan, AFL Communication @ 990-2650 or 910-1137 (cell)

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