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Bill 32: The worst of U.S. labour law comes to Alberta

Bill 32: The worst of U.S. labour law comes to Alberta

What is Bill 32?

Bill 32 is new legislation tabled by Premier Jason Kenney on July 6 that introduces sweeping changes to Alberta labour law and workplace rights. It is an attack on workers’ rights that bolsters the powers of employers and government.

How does Bill 32 affect my workplace?

Here is a summary of some of the more radical changes proposed in Bill 32:

  • imposes time-consuming financial reporting requirements for local unions
  • making union dues for core union advocacy* optional (*as defined by Kenney’s government)
  • reduces secondary picketing rights
  • limiting arbitrators’ discretion
  • lowers the legal age of work to 13 years old

Where else have these laws been implemented? Most of the changes proposed in Bill 32 are unprecedented in Canada. They are more common in southern U.S. states where they have had the effect of reducing unionization rates and keeping wages artificially low.

Why now?

Jason Kenney’s economic recovery plans are failing. Alberta has lost 50,000 jobs since the election. Workers have been vocal critics of Kenney’s privatization and tax cuts, and now he’s moving to silence us. The summer pandemic has also provided him an opportunity to move quickly while other news captures the headlines and workers are tied up with health and financial issues.

What can I do to help stop it?

There is a vibrant fight-back campaign underway right now—and we need your help. Visit afl.org/defend-worker-rights to sign the petition and tell your MLA that you don’t support this legislation. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local union president.