The Alberta Federation of Labour releases the following statement for Alberta Farm Workers Day 2019:
EDMONTON – This year’s Alberta Farm Workers Day is bittersweet because, while we recognize that Alberta farm workers now have greater protections than they’ve ever had before, we fear the UCP government will reduce these protections.
August 20 marks Alberta Farm Workers Day. While the previous NDP government enshrined farm workers’ basic rights and protections under provincial legislation – the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Act, the Employment Standards Code, and the Labour Relations Code – the current UCP government proposes to rollback these rights and protections.
The UCP government is currently working on a “Farm Freedom and Safety Act that will be introduced in the fall of 2019 to reduce the regulatory burden on farmers and ranchers.” In addition to exploring “flexibility on rules,” they are also considering removing mandatory Workers’ Compensation Board coverage for farm workers.
Agriculture is the most dangerous industry in Alberta. Every Albertan should be concerned by the current government’s suggestion that it is willing to weaken, or even eliminate, health and safety rules for our province’s farms and ranch workers. If the government is willing to reduce workplace protections for agriculture, it’s willing to reduce protections for workers in other industries, as well.
Director of Communications