Alberta labour groups use TV ad to fight new labour bills

The Alberta Federation of Labour is coming out swinging followng the passing of two anit-labour bills last night.

Unions to challenge Bills 45 and 46 in court

The Alberta Federation of Labour is coming out swinging following the passing of two anti-labour bills last night.

The AFL has placed an ad on television that denounces Redford and the governing Conservatives as bullies.

AFL head Gil McGowan says the government has poisoned labour relations in the province with the passage of two bills.

McGowan said he urged his members to vote for Premier Alison Redford in the last election, but won't make the same
mistake again.

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees president Guy Smith said union members are finding support across the province.

"We're hearing from Albertans across the province that even if they don't believe in unions — they don't like unions — they don't like the way this government is acting," Smith said.

"They recognize that if the government can with a stroke of a pen— erase rights that have been in place for almost 40 years, what does that say about this government and what other rights can they take away with the stroke of a pen?"

AUPE plans to file a statement of claim in Alberta Court of Queen's Bench and a complaint with the United Nations' International Labour Organization once Bill 46 receives royal assent, which is expected by the end of 2013.

Smith says the union is also filing a second complaint with the Alberta Labour Relations Board on Thursday afternoon. The first complaint was filed on Monday.

Bill 46 revokes the right of arbitration for AUPE and imposes a four-year contract with a two-year wage freeze if no deal is reached by the end of January.

Bill 45 imposes fines and penalties in the millions of dollars for unions that go on illegal strikes or talk publicly about taking such action.

McGowan said unions will be filing charter challenges to both bills and unfair labour practice complaints with the Labour Board.

With files from The Canadian Press


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