April 2010: Auditor General Report on Occupational Health and Safety; Temporary Foreign Workers; Pensions; Phone now to save union jobs

Lives of workers put at risk by government

  • The government's shocking failure to enforce its own workplace safety laws is putting thousands of workers at risk, according to a new report from the Auditor General. Not only have companies that have violated the Occupational Health and Safety Act been allowed to continue without penalty, some have been awarded Certificates of Recognition that earn them WCB discounts and help them win contracts. The AFL has long fought for stronger health and safety standards and enforcement. It now calls on the government to quickly implement all recommendations made by the Auditor General, including the naming of those companies that are repeat offenders. Workers have a right to know whether their workplace is safe or not. Go to Call to Action - Report of the Alberta Auditor General for details or to the AFL release.

It's time to stop the exploitation of vulnerable temporary foreign workers

  • The vast majority of temporary foreign workers in Alberta have been charged sometimes illegal fees ranging from $3,000 to $20,000 by "employment agencies," but the government of Alberta has failed to prosecute these agencies, says AFL's Temporary Foreign Worker Advocate. The government is now seeking feedback on changing legislation governing these agencies. We have until April 30 to tell them that we don't support exploitation. For more details ...

Alberta abandons leadership role in tackling crisis on pensions

  • Finance Minister Ted Morton has played down the seriousness of the pensions crisis facing Canadians, reversing the position taken earlier by the Alberta government. Rather than pushing for a much-needed boost to the pensions system, Morton claims there is no crisis and no need for urgent action. "It looks like the government's commitment to push for meaningful changes is starting to evaporate," says Gil McGowan, president of the AFL.  For more information ...

Alberta continues to shed jobs while other provinces recover

  • The latest figures from Statistics Canada reveal that unemployment in Alberta has risen to 7.5 per cent, its highest level since 1996 - and it's the only province that continues to lose jobs. There are 87,200 fewer Albertans working in full-time jobs today than there were at the top of the pre-recession boom in October 2008. While other provinces have embarked on stimulus programs to boost their economy, the Alberta government has chosen to stand idly by and watch jobs disappear. For details ...

Urgent Action

Phone now to save union jobs
  • The Yellow Pages Group has decided it will no longer print and distribute White Pages phone books. This may mean the loss of 42 jobs of members of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union at World Color in Edmonton, where the directories are printed. It's also bad news for seniors who may not have access to online directories. But there is a chance to reverse the decision and save jobs. If you want White Pages delivered to homes and offices, call 1-877-909-9356. For more details ...


2010 AFL Kids' Camp
August 9 - 13, 2010

16th Annual AFL Kids' Camp, August 9 to 13, 2010. The theme for this year's camp is "Health and Safety: Not Just for Adults." The camp is open to children of all AFL affiliates.

Camper Registration Form and Union Donations and Volunteer Form
Deadline for registration is June 18, 2010.

    Did you know ...

    • That there were 166 occupational fatalities in Alberta in 2008, compared to 154 the previous year;
    • That 63 companies have failed to comply with Occupational Health and Safety orders after one year or more;
    • That 31,000 employees work for those companies;
    • That half of those companies that consistently fail to comply with OHS orders still hold valid Certificates of Recognition; andThat not one of those companies has been named by the Alberta government.

    Alberta Auditor General Report, April 2010 - occupational health and safety

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