December 2013: Anti-worker Bills 45 and 46-FAQs, fact sheets, news releases; Labour leaders stand up for retirement income; did you know-facts on retirement income, AFL Open House

Urgent Action

Alberta Federation of Labour Open House

On Tuesday, February 11, the Alberta Federation of Labour invites you to attend our annual open house.

The open house, which is usually held in December each year, was postponed so that we could move into our new offices, which are located at #300, 10408 – 124 Street, Edmonton.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone in the New Year in our new offices.

When:  Tuesday, Feb. 11 from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m.

Where:  AFL Offices (#300, 10408 – 124 Street, Edmonton)

RSVP:   7 80-483-3021

Download the invitation here...


AFL and allies gearing up to fight unconstitutional anti-worker bills

Alberta's union movement is responding to a new assault on worker rights.

In early December, the province brought in laws impeding the ability of public-sector unions to negotiate with the government, and muzzling anyone who calls for those workers to strike. The unpopular new laws, which are being widely criticized by the media, will be challenged by the Alberta Federation of Labour.

"Workers in Alberta have a fight on their hands. It's not a fight of their choosing, but one forced on us by the reckless, punitive and unconstitutional anti-worker laws that Redford brought in," Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan said.

The Federation of Labour, affiliated unions and unaffiliated allies will be collaborating to oppose the laws through legal action, but warn that the battle for workers' rights can't be left to the courtrooms.

"We have the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on our side, but the process of challenging these laws in court will take time. It will take years," McGowan said. "In the meantime, we're going to see several unions, and hundreds of thousands of workers facing unfair bargaining tactics and diminished rights. We will have to work together, with direct action and with effective advocacy to ensure these workers are heard."

Frequently asked questions on Bills 45 and 46

AFL press release on Bills 45 and 46 –AFL Release November 29, AFL Release December 4, AFL Release December 5

Letter from Union Leaders to the Premier

Fact Sheet 1 – Breaking a Promise and the Law: Rollbacks

Fact Sheet 2 – Breaking a Promise and Breaking the Law: Supreme Court

Fact Sheet 3 – Alberta Economy Booming

Fact Sheet 4 – Breaking a Promise and the Law: Public Sector Wages

Fact Sheet 5 – Breaking a Promise and the Law: Public Services Stretched

Fact Sheet 6 – Alberta has a Revenue Problem 


Labour leaders stand up for retirement security

Alberta's labour movement is opposing the scaling back of the province's pension plans, while urging that the Canadian Pension Plan be expanded.

In September, Finance Minister Doug Horner announced the government was planning to bring in sweeping changes to public service pension plans. If the changes are implemented, as Horner indicated he is determined to do, the bottom line is that Alberta public employees will have diminished pensions. Members of Alberta's public service pension plans would have to work longer to retire, and when they retire their benefits will be reduced. In addition, their retirement incomes will more rapidly fall behind inflation.

"There are currently about 300,000 people paying into the plans in question, working in health care, universities, colleges, municipalities and various departments of the provincial government. There are another 90,000 retirees currently receiving benefits from the plans," Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan said. "That means that 15 percent of Alberta's workforce and about 20 percent of Alberta retirees will be potentially be affected by these changes. The retirement plans of thousands of thousands of Albertans will be affected and a majority of Alberta families will be touched in one way or another."

The real crisis in retirement is that so many Albertans have no retirement security – Only one in three Albertans has put anything into an RRSP. Canada needs to expand the highly successful Canadian Pension Plan that has helped so many seniors.

"Minister Horner has said he's disappointed that Ottawa has closed the door on CPP expansion," McGowan said. "Perhaps if he'd presented a united front with all of the other provincial finance ministers who were all calling for CPP expansion, the Federal government would have had to listen."

Read AFL release here

Did you know ...

• 1 in 4 Alberta seniors receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) because they do not have enough income.

• 2 out of every 3 working Albertans don't make RRSP contributions.

• Only 1 in 3 Albertans has an employer-sponsored pension plan of any kind.

• The average income for a woman senior citizen in Alberta is $20,000.


December 20: Day of International Solidarity

January 13-18: AFL/CLC Winter Labour School

February 11 & 12: AFL Executive Committee & Council

February. 11: AFL Open House

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