AFL considers legal action on UCP COVID response
EDMONTON - The Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) is considering legal action against the UCP government for its handling of the public-health response to the COVID-19 pandemic and this week, has begun a search to find workers who can help build the legal case.
“Again and again we have joined others to call for better health and safety COVID measures and time and time again, Jason Kenney and his UCP government have decided to ignore our pleas,” says AFL president Gil McGowan. “Kenney is proving his continued reckless and irresponsible disregard for Albertans’ lives, first causing the deadly fourth wave, and now while other jurisdictions are moving to protect their citizens from Omicron, he is basically saying ‘let it rip through the population.’ This is outrageous and unacceptable.”
The fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hammered Alberta and a great deal of the responsibility lies with Jason Kenney and the UCP government, especially their “open for summer” campaign when they lifted virtually all restrictions last year and failed to respond when cases started climbing.
“The fifth COVID-19 wave driven by the Omicron variant is well underway in Alberta and we’re seeing record case numbers, even though Jason Kenney and the UCP government dropped almost all contact tracing and case reporting,” says McGowan. ”They sent Alberta children back to class without adequate air filtration systems, proper masks or rapid-test kits. And they’ve lowered the isolation period from 10 days to five.”
“We continue to be concerned with the safety and protection of Alberta workers. We do not think the UCP government has done an adequate job in prioritizing public health and we want to hold them accountable in the courts,” says McGowan. “In order to do so, we need to hear from workers with personal, negative experiences from the response.”
The AFL would like to hear from:
- Workers who contracted COVID at work and suffer from severe illness or disability due to UCP government decisions, such as their decisions to loosen contact tracing, allow poor ventilation in workplaces, or allow for the use of inappropriate or defiant personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Workers who suffered or continue to suffer psychological harm such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to UCP decisions about workplace conditions, like those listed above
- Families or friends of workers who have died after contracting COVID-19 at work due to UCP government decisions
Albertans are asked to email [email protected] to send their stories or get more information.
Information collected will not be shared outside the AFL office without the express consent of the persons who provide it.
Director of Communications, AFL