Statement from AFL President Gil McGowan on International Workers' Day

Edmonton – May Day is a day to pay homage to workers worldwide who have fought for basic workers’ rights that so many now take for granted.

More than a century ago, May Day was born of the struggle for the 8-hour work day. It is a day to honour and celebrate the generations of union women and men who, through their blood and sweat, won the right to decent work for millions of people.

On May Day 2018, Alberta workers celebrate the progress we’ve made over the past year. For the first time since it was introduced in 1976, Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Act saw comprehensive updates in November 2017, and these updates will come into effect in 2018. For decades, Alberta was at the back of the pack for safety, with higher rates of injury than other Canadian jurisdictions. But with Bill 30, workers will gain new rights and protections in 2018 that are long overdue, and these changes will make Alberta workplaces better and safer for Alberta workers.

Alberta workers also recognize there is more work to do to protect our hard-won rights, including the public pensions that workers have paid into for decades. Our government must live up to the promise they made to protect the pensions of 300,000 public sector workers. Tell Premier Notley and Minister Ceci to live up to their promise. Tell them it’s time for joint governance, now – add your voice at

Later today, Albertans will gather in Edmonton and Calgary, to join with millions around the world who will take to the streets on International Workers’ Day, to continue to defend the rights of workers and fight for the rights of all.

May Day Edmonton:

5:00 pm: Doors open (Ironworkers Local 720)
5:30 pm: Program begins: March on 124 Street and return to the hall for a meal and discussion.

Organized by an Edmonton May Day committee

May Day Calgary:

4:30 pm: Gather at City Hall (800 Macleod Trail S.E.)
5:30 pm: March
6:00 pm: Discussion, Potluck and Social Evening (CommunityWise Resource Centre, 223 12 Avenue SW)

Organized by a Calgary May Day Committee.

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