Labour tackles workplace literacy issue in Alberta

The Alberta Federation of Labour is marking 2002 World Literacy Day (September 8th) by releasing a new video on literacy to labour councils and unions across the province.

"Our new production is designed to bring the many workplace and labour issues around literacy to the attention of union members and union leaders," said AFL Secretary Treasurer Kerry Barrett. "It is intended to encourage our affiliates and regional labour councils to set up literacy programs."

The 15 minute video was created by local videographer Don Bouzek with the assistance of the AFL, its literacy committee, and affiliated unions and members of the AFL. Financial support for the project was provided by the National Literacy Secretariat of Human Resources Development Canada.

"We use the video - which is designed for viewing at local union meetings - to get several important messages out," said Barrett. "First, that literacy is not just about reading and writing - literacy also encompasses number skills and computer skills and basic communications skills that are becoming more and more critical at work, at home and in our communities."

"Then", said Barrett, "we show people some successful literacy programs that they can easily adapt for use in their union local and their workplace."

"I am proud that the labour movement is taking some concrete steps to tackle literacy problems," concluded Barrett, "and I am confident that this project will produce real benefits to working people in Alberta."

Copies of the AFL Literacy Video are available to the media upon request.

For more information, contact:

Kerry Barrett, Secretary Treasurer @ 780-483-3021 (wk) / 780-720-8945 (cell)

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