The decision rendered this morning by the Alberta Labour Relations Board (LRB) declaring the strike notice filed by the Carpenters union invalid is the latest example of how Alberta's labour laws illegitimately restrict fundamental rights for Alberta workers.
"The LRB decision this morning is an outrage," says AFL President Gil McGowan, "but the main culprit in this injustice is Alberta's horrible labour laws."
"The carpenters acted appropriately and democratically in their efforts to stand up for their members," observes McGowan. "In any jurisdiction with truly free and open collective bargaining, they would be in a legal position to strike today. However, we live in Alberta, where workers are not afforded even the most basis of rights."
McGowan states the decision takes an unnecessarily narrow interpretation of the sections of the Labour Code at question in the case. However, he suggests, the primary problem is the convoluted and restrictive rules governing bargaining and the right to strike in the construction sector.
"You need a masters degree in mathematics to understand all the numerical requirements in the construction part of the Code," notes McGowan. "The multitude of roadblocks, hoops and hurdles in the law are designed explicitly and intentionally to prevent workers from expressing their democratic right to strike."
"And that," says McGowan, "leads us straight to the doors of the legislature and the Alberta government. They created a bad law that must be changed."
"I take my hat off to the thousands of carpenters in Alberta for trying to exercise their democratic right to strike," says McGowan. "And I say to the rest of Albertans that it is time to force the Conservatives to change the labour laws."
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For more information call:
Gil McGowan AFL President @ 780.218-9888 (cell)