Alberta’s so-called Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act makes subtle but dangerous changes to the Labour Code that restricts provincial arbitrators’ power. Introduced in 2020 as Bill 32, the Act also gives more power to the conservative government-appointed Labour Board.
“The grievance and arbitration system should strive fair and reasonable outcomes,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Jason Kenney is actively undermining every Albertans’ right to justice in the workplace.”
This week Unifor distributed a factsheet outlining all of the changes to the grievance and arbitration process recently implanted by Jason Kenney and the United Conservative Party (UCP) government.
Changes include reduced access to arbitration for first contracts, more loopholes for cases to be dismissed, and more legal costs for local unions.
Unifor says the increased powers of the UCP-appointed labour board is especially concerning.
“Kenney has stacked the deck against workers in many ways since he took power,” said Gavin McGarrigle, “Further politicizing the arbitration process is another blow to fairness in the workplace.”