AFL wraps up successful convention

CALGARY - Unions in Alberta are prepared to face the challenges of the 21st century, said Audrey Cormack president of the Alberta Federation of Labour as the AFL wrapped up its biennial convention in Calgary today.

"In the dog-eat-dog global economy of the next century, workers here in Alberta and around the world are going to need unions more than ever," said Cormack.

"Protecting the interests of working people from attacks by conservative governments and unscrupulous business people has never been easy. But based on the energy and commitment that was demonstrated at our convention this week, I'm convinced that unions in Alberta are up to the challenge."

More than 350 union members representing dozens of unions from across the province attended the AFL convention - which is the last of the 20th century.

Over the course of the four-day gathering, convention delegates dealt with a wide range of issues - everything from workplace health and safety to funding for schools and from basic worker rights to privatization in the health care system.

Among other things, the AFL committed itself to continue its fight against government cutbacks and the spread of private, for-profit hospitals. Delegates also pledged to support workers currently on strike against Dynamic Furniture in Calgary; Georgia Pacific in Edmonton; and Bell Canada in Ontario and Quebec.

Delegates also passed a strongly worded resolution condemning the Saskatchewan government for attempting to legislate striking nurses back to work.

The convention concluded this afternoon with elections in which Cormack and AFL Secretary-Treasurer Les Steel were each acclaimed for another term. Delegates also debated and passed a statement of workers� rights and principles.

"The Alberta labour movement is strong and united," said Cormack. "We are ready, willing and able to do what we do best - and that's to fight for the interests of working people."

For more information call:

 Audrey Cormack, AFL President:    (780) 499-6530 (cell)
 Gil McGowan, AFL Communications:   (780) 910-1137 (cell)

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