Oct 2008: New government safety ads fall flat; Unions and coops; National boycott of Petro-Canada

New Government Safety Ads Fall Flat

  • New, gory health and safety ads from the Alberta government aimed at young workers strike the wrong chord with workers. The new, web-only, ads are designed to use graphic blood and gore to shock young workers into working safely. Unfortunately, the ads send a message that young workers are "stupid" and that is what causes accidents. The AFL strongly criticized the ads and pointed to a similar campaign in Ontario for how to do it right. Read the criticism and see the ads ...

The Moral of the Story...

  • Is that arts, media and politics always mix. This year's Parkland Fall Conference, running November 14-16 at the UofA campus, examines the issue of culture, media and politics and how the language we use affects the shape of our society. The Conference will look at framing, myths and metaphors and how they are used to shape political realities. Speakers include Tariq Ali, Murray Dobbin, CBC's Nora Young and many others.

Unions and Coops - Building Together

  • Unhappy at work? Try firing the boss. Worker Coops are a viable alternative to traditional workplace ownership, and one unions are increasingly looking to as possible ways to save jobs and improve working conditions. A one-day workshop on November 12 in Winnipeg, hosted by the Western Labour-Worker Coop Council, explores how the labour and coop movements can work together more closely to develop more strong worker-centred workplaces.

An Educated Worker is a Powerful Worker

  • The latest AFL/CLC Annual Jasper School is fast approaching. With 21 courses being offered over two weeks, there is something for every activist looking for an advantage with their employer. From Collective Bargaining to Advanced Health and Safety, the School promises to be chock full of both learning and socializing. The School is open to affiliates of the AFL. Interested students should contact their local union about attending.

Check out the New Digs!!

  • The AFL has re-located to new, more centrally located offices in Edmonton. We recently hauled all our stuff to a new downtown location, located on 101 Street just south of 107 Avenue. The address might be new, but all our other contact information remains the same.

Urgent Action

National Boycott of Petro-Canada
The Canadian Labour Congress has officially declared a National Consumer Boycott of Petro-Canada. 260 workers, members of CEP Local 175, at the Petro-Canada refinery in Montreal have been locked out for almost a year - since November 17, 2007.

The CLC is asking Canadians to refuse to fill up at Petro-Canada stations and to inform the company you will not be patronizing its stations until it settles a fair deal with its workers.


December 6: Talking about Violence Against Women

The Alberta Federation of Labour Women's Committee is hosting a one-day deliberative dialogue on the impact of violence against women on our work and union roles as well as its impact on our communities and within society.

Guest speakers include Jan Reimer, Executive Director of Alberta Council of Women's Shelters and Elisabeth Ballermann, President of Health Sciences Association of Alberta.

Saturday, December 6, 2008
ATA Offices, Barnett House
11010 - 142 Street NW, Edmonton
9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Registration Fee: $80.00 (Register by Nov. 17)

Did you know ...

Inequality in Canada
  • Inequality in Canada has "increased rapidly in the past 10 years".
  • Canada now ranks 18 out of 30 OECD countries in income equality, below Sweden, Germany, France and even Hungary.
  • Canada spends less on unemployment insurance and family benefits than most OECD countries.
  • The reason for growing inequality is the rich are getting richer, leaving most Canadians behind.

Source: OECD (2008), "Growing Unequal: Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries"

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