Alberta Federation of Labour forecasts big job cuts

Stelmach government's Feb. 9 budget could cost up to 60,000 jobs, the fallout being even greater in the private sector than the public sector. - Gil McGowan.

Edmonton (27 Jan. 2010) - The Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) says 35,000 to 60,000 jobs could be lost as a result of massive budget cuts by the Stelmach government.

A report released this week by AFL president Gil McGowan says the calculations are based on estimates that the province will slash between $2 billion and $3.72 billion in spending when it tables a new budget on Feb. 9.

"What our analysis suggests is that the number of jobs lost would actually be greater outside of the public sector than in the public sector because, by taking the income out of local communities, that will result in local jobs in the private sector," he believes.

Instead, McGowan says the province should maintain or increase spending to help Alberta through the recession.

"The economy is starting to pick up. With the expansion of the economy, government revenue will increase and so there won't be any real need for them even to consider cuts of the magnitude they've been discussing," he argues.

A spokesperson for the finance ministry downplayed the report, accusing the AFL of spreading needless fear.

Alberta is forecast to end the fiscal year with a $4.3 billion deficit., Wed Jan 27 2010

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