Union leaders meet to plan response to strike-ban legislation

EDMONTON - The leaders of unions representing health care workers in Alberta will meet tomorrow morning to discuss a new piece of provincial legislation that will strip the right-to-strike from thousands of their members.

The local union leaders will be joined by Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, who has described the proposed strike-ban legislation as "draconian and uncalled for."

After a private breakfast meeting, the union leaders will gather for a news conference at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 11 in Salon C of the Crowne Plaza - Chateau Lacombe Hotel in downtown Edmonton (10111 Bellamy Hill).

At the news conference, the union leaders will summarize their concerns about the new legislation - and how they plan to respond to it.

"Alberta already has the most restrictive legislation in the country," says Les Steel, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour.

"These amendments are just going to make a bad situation worse. Basically, they're going to be stripping thousands of workers of the right to control their own labour and the right to choose one union over another. It's a huge step backward."

The news conference will be attended by representatives from the following unions and labour organizations: the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL); the United Nurses of Alberta (UNA); the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE); the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA); the International Operating Engineers (IOE); the United Steelworkers of America (USWA); the Communication Energy Paperworkers union (CEP); and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW).

The Alberta government is expected to introduce its package of labour law amendments into the Legislature tomorrow afternoon. Leaks from the government suggest that the legislation will strip the right-to-strike from paramedics and people working in long-term and community health care.

For more information, contact:

Les Steel, AFL President  at  (780) 483-3021 (wk)   or   (780) 499-4135 (cell)

Gil McGowan, AFL Communications  at (780) 483-3021 (wk) or (780) 910-1137 (cell)

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