EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - April 29, 2017) - On Sunday afternoon, workers from across Alberta will be rallying in support of an Employment Standards Code with real teeth and a Labour Code that allows people to exercise their constitutional right to join unions and bargain collectively. Neither of these Codes have been significantly updated in almost 30 years.

"The previous PC government stacked the deck against working Albertans," said Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, "30 years of unfairness is enough! We are calling on the NDP government to level the playing field with meaningful workplace law reform."

All working Canadians have the right, under the Constitution, to join unions and bargain collectively. But Alberta's current Labour Code has been deliberately designed to make it difficult for working Albertans to exercise those rights.

"In a number of recent landmark decisions, the Supreme Court of Canada has concluded that all Canadians have the constitutionally protected right to join unions and bargain collectively. They've even made it clear that these rights include the right to strike," said McGowan. "Yet, instead of supporting and facilitating these rights, Alberta's existing Labour Code throws up barriers and hurdles, purposely stacking the deck against working Albertans."

In terms of Employment Standards, Alberta is out of step with the rest of Canada on many issues such as leaves, hours of work, vacation pay, scheduling, child labour, and more. In terms of enforcement of the rules we do have, Alberta almost never prosecutes employers for violations of the Employment Standards Code.

"Alberta's Employment Standards Code serves as our basic floor of workplace rights, yet it is outdated and full of holes compared to the rest of the country," said McGowan, "It's time to bring our Employment Standards into the Canadian mainstream, and beyond."

It's Time to Unstack the Deck: A Rally for Labour Rights
Date: Sunday, April 30th
Time: 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Location: Alberta Legislature Building, 10800 97 Ave NW, Edmonton

Contact Information:

Media Contact:
Chris Gallaway
Director of Government Relations
Alberta Federation of Labour