Alberta Federation of Labour, Director of Projects - Tom Fuller has recently written an article in the AFL's new magazine "Union" (see pages 26 - 27) which takes a look Labour Laws in that western Canadian province.
"Alberta’s Unconstitutional labour laws
An invitiation to union-busting - tom fuller, AFL
When labour relations experts look at Alberta, the first thing they notice is the low rate of unionization in the province’s workforce.
At last count (in 2006) just 22.3% of workers in Alberta were union members – by far the lowest rate in Canada. Journalists and academics have noted this fact and discussed possible reasons for it. Much of the discussion centers around Alberta’s conservative political culture, “entrepreneurial values” and “cowboy spirit.” Rugged individuals like us, apparently, just don’t like the idea of joining together with others in an attempt to better ourselves; we’d rather go it alone.
To anybody with on-the-ground experience doing union work in Alberta, that explanation is ludicrous. The fact is: workers in Alberta, at least a significant number of them, want to unionize; but that our province’s anti-union labour laws make it very difficult for them to exercise their right to do so. “Give us some halfway balanced labour legislation,” say the organizers, “and we’ll see if the “cowboy spirit” still keeps workers away from unions!” (read more....)