Hard-won laws to protect workers have not kept pace with the changing nature of work and new understandings of health and wellness. A growing number of workers are falling through the cracks. Exceptions and loopholes have eaten away at the Employment Standards Code, Labour Relations Code, Occupational Health and Safety, and Workers Compensation. Vulnerable workers fall prey to unsafe working conditions. Legislation is often toothless without serious government oversight and enforcement, all too often leaving workers to fight for their rights on their own against powerful corporations.
There is a better way. Together we can show hard-working Albertans the respect they deserve by strengthening our laws and holding employers accountable for following them.
- Expand the Employment Standards Code to cover all workers, including farm workers, contract employees, sales workers, and gig workers, and raise the bar for workers’ rights and protections from the bare minimum.
- Expand the Workers Compensation Act to address less visible workplace illness and injuries, like mental health impacts and the spread of diseases like COVID-19.
- Ban injury-free workplace incentives that dissuade workers from reporting incidents.
- Implement stronger oversight and enforcement of the Employment Standards Code, Labour Relations Code, and Occupational Health and Safety legislation to ensure employers are following the law.
- Break down the current barriers for workers to unionize and negotiate collectively for fair pay and working conditions by implementing single-step union certification, while ensuring that punishments and enforcement of union busting tactics like terminations are significant enough to deter employers from acting illegally.
Albertans are proud of their work. They can see the buildings that were built by their hands, they can speak to the lives that they have saved in hospitals, and they can drive on the roads that they have paved. Our government must ensure that workers are empowered to demand the respect and protections they deserve, and that they benefit fairly from their hard work and contributions to our economy.