Employers in Alberta need to wake up

[Edmonton] With Alberta facing a growing number of labour disputes, the Alberta Federation of Labour said today that it's time for employers to take a reality check before they enter negotiations.

"We face the prospect of two strikes in the province this week," notes AFL President Gil McGowan, "a public sector strike by transit workers in Calgary and a private sector strike by brewery workers in Edmonton."

"In both cases, the employers have come to the table looking for thinly disguised concessions from workers. At Molson it's two-tiered wage and benefit systems, and in Calgary it's a shift towards lower paid shuttle bus jobs," says McGowan.

McGowan says employers have to get their heads around the idea that concession demands won't fly - and don't make sense - during economic boom times.

"The Alberta economy is booming, inflation is seriously eroding everyone's earning power, employers everywhere are saying how hard it is to attract and retain new staff - but both the Molson Coors Brewing Company and the City of Calgary pretending the new economic realities of Alberta don't count at the bargaining table."

"Employers across the province should take a long look at the consequences of living in that kind of dream world," says McGowan. "Both CAW Local 284 at the Molson Edmonton brewery and ATU Local 583 representing Calgary transit workers are either taking strike action or are on the verge of taking strike action - with the full support of the province's labour movement."

"I urge these employers to take their unrealistic concession demands off the table and to begin negotiating the level of settlement workers need and deserve in an economy with a 5% inflation rate, an unemployment rate at 3.4% and no end to the boom in sight," concluded McGowan.

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For more information call:

Gil McGowan, AFL President at 780.218-9888 (cell)

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