Hundreds of Fort McMurray workers are expected to rally tonight to send a message to the Conservative government and to Oilsands Companies that the boom in Alberta needs to be shared among all Albertans. The rally coincides with the visit of many Conservative MLAs to tour Fort McMurray.
"Tonight's rally is an event organized by local workers who are frustrated with recent developments in the Oilsands projects," says Alberta Federation of Labour President Gil McGowan. "It is sending a message that Alberta is built by workers, and that workers deserve a fair share of the economic prosperity."
At issue are attempts by oilsands companies to lower wages and working conditions at their mega-projects north of Fort McMurray. Three strategies are being employed: use of employer-friendly unions willing to sign sweetheart deals, use of non-union contractors, and the threat of importing temporary foreign workers.
"At a time of record profits for energy corporations, instead of sharing the growing pie, these companies are trying to trim the edges of the workers' piece," says McGowan. "This is about their greed and the rights of workers to receive a fair share."
"And the government has been actively supporting this effort to bust unions and drive down wages, through the use of rarely used provisions in the Labour Code," adds McGowan.
"In the past, all oilsands construction was built using union labour � not because the employers liked unions, but because unions were able to provide high quality workers who could get the work done," observes McGowan. "The unions are still keeping their end of the bargain, but the employers are breaking it.�
"The rally is to let MLAs and the big energy companies know that workers won't take this lying down."
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