The announcement of the new Alberta cabinet doesn�t create any new confidence in the direction of the Conservative government, says the Alberta Federation of Labour today.
"I fail to see any real potential for positive change in this cabinet," says AFL President Gil McGowan. "Lyle Oberg as Finance Minister suggests working people will not be this government's first priority."
In particular, the departmental restructuring suggests the government will put the interests of industry over average Albertans.
"By combining Industry with the old Human Resources Employment, we see a clash of priorities. For the decision-makers at Industry, good labour laws, strong enforcement of Employment Standards and safe workplaces are just a barrier to profits," notes McGowan.
"The AFL is worried that the influence of industry in labour programs may leave workers in the cold."
The AFL's response to the appointment of Iris Evans as the Minister of Employment, Immigration and Industry is cautious.
"We are hopeful we can build a fruitful and constructive relationship with the new Minister," says McGowan. "But I must admit to being slightly nervous given her track record in Health. Her support of the Third Way makes me pause."
"However, we are hopeful we can engage her about the serious issues facing Alberta workers today. We will be requesting a meeting with her soon to discus stronger health and safety rules, better enforcement of employment standards and improvements to the Labour Relations Board, among other issues."
"All in all, this cabinet continues to suggest a government more interested in protecting the energy industry than determining how Albertans can benefit from the boom."
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For more information contact: Gil McGowan Tel: (780) 483-3021 Cell: (780) 218-9888