When the Economic Party is Over...
- Someone has to clean up the mess. The latest Labour Economic Monitor, the AFL's digest of economic statistics and analysis, is out - and this time looks at the quickly changing economy. Find out what is really happening, what is causing the rapid flux and how you and your family might be affected. Read Labour Economic Monitor ...
Hands off Our Assets!
- On January 20, Edmonton City Council will consider privatizing the Gold Bar Waste Treatment Plan by handing it over to EPCOR at a fraction of its value. EPCOR plans on using the asset to help it win bids to operate privatized utilities in other cities in North America. Edmontonians would lose public control of this valuable public asset and public accountability would be lost. Edmontonians need to make their voice heard in the next few days.
The Making of Our Movement
- As we build toward the AFL's Centennial in 2012, we want to celebrate our past victories and achievements. Last year we launched Project 2012 to create popular material to celebrate labour history in Alberta. The latest in our series of posters has just been released. It is the first poster in the "Making of Our Movement" series, and it honours the courage and struggle of the workers in the 1986 Gainers Strike. A powerful image anchors the poster, which is available free of charge from the AFL office. Framed copies are also being sold for $150. See sample of the poster ...
Fed Up With Labour Laws? Change 'Em!
- The winter 2009 issue of Union magazine came out recently, offering a look at the state of Alberta's labour laws and what we can do about them. Union is the AFL's seasonal publication of insight and analysis. The issue also examines the growing use of Temporary Foreign Workers, the possibility of "decent work", and takes a look back at a groundbreaking coal miners's strike in 1906. And remember, subscriptions are FREE! Read Union Magazine ...
- Workplaces are becoming more diverse, which presents both challenges and opportunities for workers. Three of the AFL's Standing Committees are collaborating to organize a conference that is looking at diversity in the workplace. The conference will address racism, aboriginal issues, Temporary Foreign Workers, and pride and solidarity. The Conference runs February 27 & 28 at the Crowne Plaza Chateau Lacombe in Edmonton.
Stop the Bloodshed in the Middle East
With over 700 Palestinians and 13 Israelis killed and the death toll mounting daily as the Gaza offensive escalates, citizens around the world are urgently demanding action to end the violence and protect civilians.
One group has launched an online petition calling for robust international action to achieve an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and take further crucial steps toward a fair and lasting peace in the Middle East.
Join the more than 400,000 people worldwide who have signed the petition and are calling for an end to the bloodshed. Sign the petition ...
The Folly of Free Trade Agreements
The Parkland Institute is hosting a speaking event with Professor Jane Kelsey, one of New Zealand's best-known critical commentators on issues of globalisation, neo-liberalism and so-called liberalized trade. Dr. Kelsey will be talking about how working people around the world suffer the worst under free trade agreements, and how such deals embed the corporate principles of neo-liberalism.
Tuesday February 3
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
University of Alberta Campus (ETLC 1-003)
Did you know ...
Temporary Foreign Workers in Alberta
In December 2007, there were 37,257 TFWs in Alberta, which would make up Alberta's 10th largest city.
There were 73,000 unemployed Albertans in the same month.
Unskilled workers now make up 1 in 4 TFWs in Alberta.
60% of food industry employers with TFWs were found by the Alberta government to be breaching the Employment Standards Code in some significant way.
Let's Make Parliament Work - Support the New Coalition
- Stephen Harper has failed. He promised in the election to make the minority government work and to address the economic crisis. Instead, he has used the crisis to attack working people. We need a government with a stronger vision, one that will work on stimulating the economy and protect Canadians' jobs and pensions. We need to make Parliament work, and the coalition government is our best way to do that. The AFL wants to encourage all Albertans to support the coalition government. Make your voice heard! There are two ways you can support the formation of a coalition:
- Attend Edmonton Rally - Thursday Dec. 4, 6:00 pm at City Hall - Edmontonians of all party stripes will be attending a short rally to publicly show their support for the coalition government. The AFL is encouraging Edmontonians to attend.
- Contact your MP - No matter where you live, you can let your MP know that you support the coalition and want a government that will craft a real plan to stimulate the economy. You can send them an email in just one click!
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.
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"