November 2011: Canadian Wheat Board; Keystone XL decision; Occupy Movement; health and safety blitzes

Prairie labour groups defend Canadian Wheat Board

  • The The Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba Federations of Labour united to defend the Canadian Wheat Board against attack from the Harper government. In a joint statement, the labour groups said the plan to dismantle the wheat board was illegal and undemocratic. AFL President Gil McGowan said: "The real truth is that the Harper government believes in a free market only when it's good for large corporations. It wants to destroy the ability of farmers to freely and collectively bargain to get the best price for their goods. It's the same ideological attack Harper has made on the rights of workers to collectively bargain to get a fair deal for their work in back-to-work legislation at Canada Post and Air Canada." For more ... and AFL Joint Statement on Canadian Wheat Board

AFL applauds U.S. decision to delay Keystone XL decision

  • Albertans should see the Obama administration's decision to delay its decision on the Keystone XL pipeline as an opportunity to get more value out of our bitumen, rather than shipping our raw resources and jobs down the pipeline to the U.S. "It is an opportunity for us to move up the value chain and create a more prosperous and stable economic future for Albertans," says AFL president Gil McGowan. For more ... and news story on Keystone XL decision

Occupy movement a force for positive change in Alberta

  • While protesters at Occupy Edmonton and Calgary faced moves to force them from their camps, they earned praise from the AFL for bringing important issues to the fore. "The Occupation sites were vibrant reminders of deeper issues of economic inequality in Alberta. What is truly unsightly is the presence of a government that favours its corporate friends over the interests of all Albertans," said AFL president Gil McGowan. He said their message and voices "will continue to inspire positive change in this province." For November 26th AFL press release; for November 9th AFL press release; and for October 14th AFL press release ...

Want to be safe at work? Join a union!

  • A blitz of construction worksites by Occupational Health and Safety inspectors revealed the shocking level of unsafe practices faced by Alberta workers, with nearly 400 orders issued after 600 inspections of 387 employers. While the AFL welcomed a move to add evening and weekend inspections, it said much more must be done to keep workers safe. The best solution is to allow workers to join unions. "The evidence is clear from Alberta and across the country that the presence of unions at construction sites reduces the number of injuries and fatalities," says Gil McGowan, AFL president. Meanwhile, the AFL welcomed the Alberta Court of Appeal's decision to uphold a ruling that that Sinopec Shanghai Engineering Co. can be prosecuted for the deaths of two oilsands workers. "Today's ruling makes it clear that if international companies want to do business here, they have to not only respect our laws, but also be accountable when they violate them," says McGowan. For November 8th AFL press release and for November 23rd AFL press release ...

Urgent Action

  • Rally for striking workers at Peri Formwork Systems in Calgary - The workers at Peri Formwork Systems in Calgary have been on strike since July 4, 2011. They are seeking fair compensation and improved working conditions in their first collective agreement. The members of Carpenters Local 2010 members have not received a pay increase in three years. Join the rally in support of these workers.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011, 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm,

29 Industry Way S.E., Calgary

  • Sign the Declaration of Support for Jordan's Principle - Jordan River Anderson of Norway House Cree Nation was ready to go home from hospital when he was two years old but spent over two years unnecessarily in hospital as the federal government and provincial governmentt could not agree on who should pay for his at home care. Jordan passed away at the age of five never having spent a day in a family home while governments continued to argue. Jordan's Principle seeks to ensure no other child becomes a victim of such jurisdictional disputes. Sign the petition here ...


  • December 1: World AIDS Day
  • December 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities
  • December 4: Commemorative Brunch
  • December 6-7: AFL Executive Council
  • December 6: AFL Open House
  • December 6: National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women
  • December 9: Deadline for registration for AFL 2012 School
  • December 18: International Migrants Day
  • December 20: Deadline for registration for January 27-29 2012 Equinox Weekend

Did you know ...

If four new upgraders were built in Alberta, we'd gain:

  • 52,000 person years of direct construction employment
  • 10,960 person years of engineering work
  • 4,000 permanent operations jobs
  • An additional 12,000 supply, service and maintenance jobs
  • $400 million per year in provincial corporate taxes (based on Alberta estimates)
  • $780 million per year in federal corporate income taxes

(Source: Alberta's Industrial Heartland Association, "Refine it where we mine it – Job creation,")

For more information ...

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