Press Release: As inflation remains high, Alberta unions call for an excess profits tax to discourage price gouging – AFL

Workers need a break from higher prices, says Alberta Federation of Labour

EDMONTON – With new data from Statistics Canada showing that rising prices for things like gasoline and food are still punishing Alberta workers, the president of Alberta’s largest worker organization is calling on Premier Jason Kenney and NDP Leader Rachel Notley to support an excess profits tax to discourage price gouging.

“Alberta workers need a break from higher prices,” says Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) president Gil McGowan. “Higher interest rates will only punish workers for a problem they didn’t create. We need to get to the heart of the problem, which is that oil companies and grocery chains are using their market power to price gouge. Many jurisdictions around the world are taking steps to discourage this practice by introducing an excess profits tax. We should do the same here in Alberta.”

Today, McGowan wrote a letter to both Kenney and Notley saying that workers in the province are feeling the pinch of inflation in large part because prices for goods and services are increasing much faster than wages. The letter points out that price gouging and fixing, corporate profiteering, and supply chain issues are key factors that are making life more expensive for working people, and that an excess profits tax could help to stem price gouging and bring down the cost of living in Alberta.

The letter was sent on the same day that Statistics Canada released a new report showing that inflation continues to be a big problem for working Albertans, as the province’s CPI rose by 7.4 per cent in July 2022. Wages, meanwhile, only grew by a meager 0.7 per cent.

McGowan attached a copy of a new analysis on the inflation situation in Alberta prepared by the AFL. The full analysis can be accessed here.

“It’s clear that inflation is persisting and that corporations are taking advantage of the situation by overcharging consumers for groceries, gas, and many other items,” the AFL leader adds. “We need the Government of Alberta to take immediate action to relieve the price pressures that Albertans are facing, and that starts with a windfall tax on excess profits.”

Representing 28 affiliated trade unions and over 170,000 unionized workers across Alberta, the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) is the leading voice for working Albertans. To learn more about the AFL and its advocacy on behalf of workers, visit the federation’s website.

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Michael Hurley
Director of Communications
Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL)
Phone: 647-382-8002