October 2013: Parkland Institute Annual Conference; Superstore Workers Win Vastly Improved Offer After Three-Day Strike; Help Defend Alberta Pensions; AFL Makes Final Argument in Favour o...

Urgent Action

Parkland Institute Annual Conference

The Parkland Institute is putting Facts, Fictions, and the Politics of Truth under the microscope at their 17th Annual Conference, Nov. 22-24 at the University of Alberta.

The conference will examine how governments have been increasingly limiting the ability of scientists to speak about their research, and how important research has been defunded.

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges will be presenting a keynote speech on his latest book Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt. Other speakers will include Arno Kepecky, Katie Gibbs, and internationally syndicated columnist Michael Geist.

For more information, please visit the convention page at http://parklandinstitute.ca/fallconf2013  

News 

Superstore Workers Win Vastly Improved Offer After Three-Day Strike

UFCW 401 celebrated a victory in the fight for fair wages after signing a new contract with Loblaws.

More than 8,500 workers returned to work after a three-day strike was resolved with a new collective agreement.

“The new contract is one that the employees can be proud of, and now includes none of the most troubling concessions that were there when they went on strike,” UFCW president Douglas O’Halloran said.

The improvements in the newly ratified deal include wage increases in every year of the Collective Agreement, along with retroactive pay, as well as money for a brand new sick pay plan for part-time workers and significant improvements to the full-time benefits. 

“We’re proud of our brothers and sisters at UFCW who stood up to unreasonable employer demands, and won a major victory,” Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan said. “Many AFL members from a broad cross section of the labour movement are glad to have stood in solidarity with UFCW. The number of our members – and the number of Albertans – who refused to cross the picket line was inspiring.”

Help Defend Alberta Pensions

On Sept. 16, most Alberta public sector unions received word from the Redford Government that it intends to implement major change to public sector pension plans, including the Local Authorities Pension Plan (LAPP), which includes many of our members.

For now, affected unions are working together to change the government’s mind. The coalition includes the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, Alberta Colleges and Institutes Faculties Association, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Health Sciences Association of Alberta, United Nurses of Alberta and the Alberta Federation of Labour.

Hardworking Alberta workers deserve a decent, predictable and secure retirement income after years of working and contributing to their pension plan. This real retirement security is best and most efficiently provided by a jointly governed defined benefit pension plan. For public-sector workers, the Local Authorities Pension Plan has worked for 50 years and it can continue working into the future without drastic changes so long as workers and employers are given the ability to manage the plan.

The Alberta Federation of Labour urges you to let the government know that you oppose the undermining of Alberta’s public-sector pension plans. Visit the website www.defendalbertapensions.ca to send a letter to Finance Minister Doug Horner.


AFL Makes Final Argument in Favour of Enbridge Line 9 Pipeline

The Alberta Federation of Labour president submitted final arguments to the National Energy Board in favour of the Enbridge Line 9 Project today.

AFL president Gil McGowan said he supports Line 9 because it keeps value-added jobs in Canada, and is good for the people of Alberta and the people of Quebec. Line 9 will expand and reverse the flow of Line 9 and 9B, connecting the Synthetic Crude Oil coming from Alberta's upgraders to refineries in Quebec.

"Line 9 connects Alberta's upgraders, and all the good-paying jobs that go with them, to refineries in Quebec, where thousands of good jobs are also at stake. It provides a market for synthetic crude, and keeps value-added jobs in both our provinces," McGowan said. "Line 9 allows Quebec refineries to stop importing higher-cost crude from Angola, Nigeria, and Algeria, and instead allows them to buy Alberta's upgraded products, which enhances Canadian energy security."

The AFL is a frequent intervener in National Energy Board pipeline proceedings. The Federation has intervened against Keystone, Keystone XL, Southern Lights, Alberta Clipper, and Northern Gateway, on the grounds that these pipelines ship raw bitumen, and therefore value-added jobs, down the pipeline to the United States or China. This is the first time the Federation has intervened in favour of a pipeline project at the National Energy Board.

Download the AFL press release issued Oct 3:“AFL Makes Final Argument in Favour of Enbridge Line 9 Pipeline”: http://www.afl.org/index.php/Press-Release/afl-makes-final-argument-in-favour-of-enbridge-line-9-pipeline.html

Did you know…

  •  The average LAPP pension is just under $14,958 per year – and only after years of work and pension contributions.
  • The LAPP Pension Fund fluctuates in value because of the stock market. It is currently on track to be in surplus within 10 years.
  • Almost one in every 10 Albertans has a stake in either the LAPP or the PSPP.

Events

November 1: Alberta NDP Convention in Lethbridge
November 22-24: Parkland Institute Conference in Edmonton
December 10: AFL Open House…in the new Office!

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