March 2011: Wisconsin protests; forklift safety; Alberta govt failing to collect billions; equality still a dream in Alberta; IAMAW 99 fight against CLAC

Workers' rights under attack!
  • From Wisconsin to Egypt, from Mexico to Canada, the rights of workers are under attack. The right of public-sector unionized workers to bargain collectively has been taken away in Wisconsin and similar moves are planned in other states south of the border. Meanwhile, the billionaire Koch brothers, who have funded this anti-union, anti middle-class campaign, have been revealed to have significant business interests in Alberta. They may be giving money to right-wing parties here! For more information ... and AFL video ... For the AFL Workers' Rights page ... To stay informed, follow us on Twitter and connect with us on Facebook.
After 100 years, equality still a dream for Alberta
  • It's been a century since International Women's Day was launched, but Alberta women still earn, on average, only 72 cents for every dollar a man earns. Alberta is the only jurisdiction in Canada that does not give women and official voice to bring focus to this important issue and help to end the unfairness. The AFL is working to change this by aggressively lobbying MLAs. For more information ... and see also ...

AFL - making workplaces safer

  • Campaigns by the AFL on workplace safety have resulted in positive moves by the Alberta government, which announced it would be hiring more inspectors and that it would initiate a forklift-safety blitz. However, the government's actions fell far short of what is needed to keep Alberta workers safe, so the AFL pressure continues. For more information ... and for recent release on forklift safety ...

Government pleads poverty while failing to collect billions

  • The Alberta government released a budget inspired by the Wildrose Alliance, one that continued the starvation diet for Alberta's valued public services and included no plan to shore up the province's flagging revenues. Meanwhile, a coalition of unions called on the Auditor General to investigate why the government was failing to collect billions of dollars every year, by not meeting its own targets for revenue from oil and gas operations. For more information ... and for the release on the Auditor General's report ...

Urgent Action

  • Join the fight against CLAC! - IAM Local Lodge 99 is locked in a runoff battle with CLAC to represent hundreds of workers at OEM Remanufacturing in Edmonton, an engine and powertrain component remanufacturing company, serving the railway, natural gas and diesel sectors. IAM has been fighting for nearly seven years to represent these workers, but victory is in sight. The Alberta Labour Relations Board has ruled that the OEM workers have the right to choose their own union, and IAM has a short time to campaign for votes. But they need your help. For details ... Also go to


  • March 22 - World Water Day
  • March 26 - Friends of Medicare health-care rally at the Legislature (www.
  • March 31 - CUPE Alberta convention, Grande Prairie
  • March 31 - Public Interest Alberta Annual Advocacy Conference
  • April 2 - 27th Annual Labour Appreciation Night
  • April 28-May 1 - AFL Convention

Did you know ...

  • That some CLAC contracts say no union activity is allowed at the workplace during working hours "except that which is necessary for the processing of grievances and enforcement" of the collective agreement.
  • That some CLAC contracts allow for only four hours' notice of layoffs, or say that no notice is required for layoffs due to equipment failure, material shortage or "other reasons."
  • That some CLAC contracts stipulate that, in the event of it and the employer failing to resolve a matter of contention, "it agrees that the decisive word resides with management."
  • That some CLAC contracts "will not permit or encourage any cessation of work, strike, slowdown or otherwise restrict or interfere with the employer's operation." For more information ... and go to

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