Hundreds rally at Alberta legislature for changes to labour code
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05:14

Hundreds rally at Alberta legislature for changes to labour code

Hundreds of unionized employees rallied outside the Alberta legislature Sunday, calling for amendments to the provincial labour code.

“One of the reasons that we haven’t received that dignity, fairness and respect is because of the labour laws that have been passed by successive conservative governments in this province,” said Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour.

He spoke to a crowd that included busloads of people who arrived from the Edmonton Expo Centre, where the federation held a convention from Thursday to Sunday. 

Placards scattered throughout the crowd included the slogans “unstack the deck” and “end double-breasting,” referring to the practice of running two affiliated companies, one that is unionized and one that isn’t.

“It’s when (employers) set up a secondary company and try to avoid the union’s collective agreement,” said Jim Haryett, president of Teamsters local union 987, at the rally. “It really affects a lot of the unions that represent the building trades.”

The rally followed the NDP decision to review the employment standards code and labour relations code, which haven’t significantly changed in three decades. The laws regulate things like maternity and parental leave and the collective bargaining process.

“Today we feel we have a government that is prepared to listen,” said Martyn Piper, executive secretary treasurer of the Alberta Regional Council of Carpenters and Allied Workers, who attended Sunday’s rally. “There’s a general sense of frustration building over the years, passing from generation to generation.”

“We want to ensure we have fair and balanced labour laws … (currently) we have the most regressive labour code anywhere in Canada.”

cclancy@postmedia.com

twitter.com/clareclancy

source : Calgary SUN
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