Four years of UCP government have threatened Alberta workers’ safety: Kuprys
EDMONTON – Today, workers across Alberta will gather to commemorate the National Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace, a day dedicated to acknowledging those who have died or been injured on the job over the previous year. The Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) secretary treasurer Karen Kuprys noted that the UCP government has not made workers safer on the job.
“On this day, we mourn the dead and fight for the living,” said Kuprys. “And the UCP’s term in government proves that workers need to demand better on workplace health and safety in this upcoming provincial election.”
In 2020, the UCP pushed through disastrous legislation that stripped many Alberta workers of their health and dental coverage and allowed employers to not re-hire recovered injured workers. The bill also included transitioning the services provided by the Medical Panels Office to the Appeals Commission, which removed benefit of the doubt for workers at the level of a medical panel review. Finally, their legislation ended the Fair Practices Office which provided free and unbiased assistance to injured workers struggling to navigate the WCB’s bureaucracy.
“Danielle Smith hasn’t improved the situation either,” said Kuprys. “She has a responsibility to Albertans to strengthen systems to keep workers safe and provide supports for those that are injured.”
“When Danielle Smith took over the Premier’s office, she neglected to assign responsibility over occupational health and safety or labour code oversight to a cabinet minister,” added Kuprys. “She has also embraced anti-masking and anti-vaccination views that endanger workers from the spread of COVID-19.”
Director of Communications, AFL
- Since 1990, April 28th has been nationally recognized as a day to commemorate and remember workers who have been killed, injured, or suffered illness due to workplace hazards. Local labour councils organize memorials in their communities, including at Edmonton’s “Broken Families Obelisk” at Grant Notley Park today at 11:00 AM.
- Information on Bill 47 (2020) changes to Occupational Health & Safety: https://www.afl.org/bill_47_limiting_the_right_to_refuse_unsafe_work
- and: https://www.afl.org/bill_47_weakening_the_right_to_know
- Information on cabinet oversight over occupational health and safety and the labour code: https://www.afl.org/is_smith_trying_to_make_unions_and_workplace_health_safety_disappear_in_alberta