Unifor is sounding the alarm over Alberta Bill 32’s impact on overtime and time-off payments.
“Jason Kenney has taken millions of dollars in overtime pay from workers and gifted it directly to employers,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.
Under Kenney’s law, overtime hours will now be averaged over an entire year, up from 12 weeks. In other words, employers will be able to spread out overtime hours over 52 weeks to reduce the amount of overtime paid out (or time off in lieu).
“For many worksites, this change eliminates overtime pay altogether,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “It is a breath-taking theft from workers orchestrated by their premier.”
Although the provisions will not apply to collective agreements that have explicit averaging language, McGarrigle says lowering the floor always puts downwards pressure on collective agreements.
“The larger the gap between minimum employment standards and collective agreements, the more pressure there is on unionized workers to give up their hard-earned benefits,” he said.
Passed in 2020, Bill 32, the so-called Restoring balance in Alberta’s workplaces Act, takes aim at workers’ basic rights, ranging from picketing to arbitration. More factsheets about Bill 32 will be distributed in the coming weeks.