Last week, the United Conservative Party government of Jason Kenney introduced Bill 32, the Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act. It’s a massive omnibus bill that amends six different labour and employment relations acts. Don’t be fooled by the title of the Bill, it is, without a doubt, an attack on workers and unions to the benefit of corporations and the rich.
And while members that work at Canada Post fall under federal jurisdiction, other CUPW members from private sector bargaining units may be targeted by this bill. At any rate, an attack on one group of workers almost inevitably has repercussions on other workers. This bill must be halted!
Bill 32 is inspired by an American approach to labour and employment relations. A shift to a low-road economic strategy that will promote low wages, poor working conditions, weak environmental standards and impatience with democratic dissent.
Numerous organizations in civil society and experts have analyzed in detail the proposed bill and have concluded it threatens workers’ bargaining power and workers’ political activities in their fight for better working conditions.
As mentioned, Bill 32 contains numerous changes. To better understand the scope of these, Jason Foster, a labour relations professor at Athabasca University has summarized the amendments in three categories.