June 2011: Join Together Alberta campaign; minimum wage; AB govt code of silence; workers at risk in AB

Join Together Alberta launches campaign to save education, health and social services

  • Alberta is one of the wealthiest jurisdictions in the world, and yet up to 1,200 teachers and hundreds of school support staff facing layoffs. Meanwhile, post-secondary education and social services are also facing funding cutbacks. The math just doesn't add up – and that's because Alberta's revenue system is broken. Join Together Alberta, a coalition of community groups, social-services agencies and unions has launched a campaign to reform the province's revenue system – and save our services. For AFL Release, Our Alberta Declaration, Town Hall Tour List and http://www.jointogetheralberta.ca/

AFL pushes minister to raise minimum wage

  • After two years with minimum-wage levels stuck at $8:80 per hour, and a concerted AFL campaign to push for more, Employment and Immigration Minister Thomas Lukaszuk finally announced an increase was coming. Unfortunately, he introduced a two-tier system - with liquor servers who earn tips getting a lower rate than other workers. In a 'mean-spirited' move, the minister revealed that workers would have to wait three more months for the raises to kick in. For more and "Message to Minister Lukaszuk" release

Alberta government's code of silence exposed

  • Edmonton Journal writer Sheila Pratt revealed the code of silence that the government of Alberta attempts to impose on critics. She quoted AFL president Gil McGowan: "So the message has been crystal clear – toe the line and you get access. Refuse to play along and you get added to the long list of Albertans who are excluded." Want an example of how Alberta politics works? Pratt says doctors who wanted to improve health care in ways at odds with government policies were told "if you go public, you won't get anywhere." For more information and for Edmonton Journal story

Government continues to put Alberta workers at risk

  • An Edmonton murder trial heard that workplace health-and-safety problems played a role in the slaying of the accused's wife, but when called upon to investigate, the Ministry of Employment and Immigration's initial response was to say it could do nothing because a complaint had not been filed. It was only after media reaction that minister Thomas Lukaszuk ordered his investigators to take action. "The government's complaints-driven process is a failure," says AFL president Gil McGowan. "The only way to keep workplaces safe is for a proactive campaign of vigorous and frequent random inspection by inspectors with real powers to punish violators. Instead, this government chooses to wait for complaints to be filed and reacts to them – literally waiting until people are hurt before taking action." For more information ...

Urgent Action

  • Support your postie – by dancing! - The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has filed strike notice and its members may stop work as early as Thursday, June 2. They are fighting against proposed cuts in wages and benefits and for safer working conditions and an improved public postal service. Whether or not a walkout has begun, show your support for your local posties by going to a public rally/dance in Edmonton at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 3. For more Stay tuned for updates in the coming days and weeks at www.afl.org, www.cupw.ca, www.cupwedm.net and www.cupwcalgary.org
  • Five reasons to support postal workers – and how:



  • June 2-3: HSAA Annual General Meeting
  • June 4: International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression
  • June 5: World Environment Day
  • June 6: Join Together Alberta Town Hall, Red Deer
  • June 7: Join Together Alberta Town Hall, Medicine Hat
  • June 9: Join Together Alberta Town Hall, Grande Prairie
  • June 11: Edmonton Pride Parade
  • June 15: Join Together Alberta Town Hall, Calgary
  • June 16: Join Together Alberta Town Hall, Lethbridge
  • June 20: World Refugee Day
  • June 21: Join Together Alberta Town Hall, Fort McMurray
  • June 21-22: AFL Executive Committee and Council Meetings
  • June 23: Join Together Alberta Town Hall, Edmonton
  • June 27: AFL Joint Standing Committee Meeting: Education, Human Rights & Int'l. Solidarity, Pride and Solidarity, Workers of Colour and Aboriginal Workers, Political Action
  • June 28: AFL Joint Standing Committee Meeting: Environment, Health and Safety, Women, Young Workers
  • July 1: Canada Day
  • July 3: International Day of Co-operatives
  • July 11: World Population Day

Did you know ...

  • Corporate profits in Alberta are up 400 per cent
  •  The provincial economy is 75-per-cent larger than the national average
  •  The provincial government has missed its targets on collecting royalties from oil and gas companies, missing out on about $37 billion in revenue
  • Corporate tax cuts are costing the Alberta government about $1 billion per year
  • Alberta has no public debt
  • Alberta's spending on social services is barely keeping up with population growth
  • Provincial spending is declining as a share of the total economy

For more ... and go to http://www.jointogetheralberta.ca

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