AFL says workers are paying a price for government’s regulation-cutting zeal.

EDMONTON – Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) President Gil McGowan reminded the UCP Government that workers are paying the price for the UCP government’s ongoing “red-tape” reduction campaign. McGowan made the following statement as the government indulged in self-congratulatory fanfare on the issue:

“While UCP Leader Danielle Smith trumpets businesses saving billions of dollars by getting rid of so-called red tape, it’s workers, their families, and their communities that are footing the bill.

“In 2019, the UCP cut the minimum wage for children from $15 an hour to $13 an hour. Apparently for the UCP, paying young people a lower minimum wage is good for the province. We disagree. That’s not red tape. Everyone should get paid a decent wage and the government shouldn’t help businesses artificially lower it.

“The UCP also said that holiday and overtime entitlements for workers are ‘red tape’. The idea that the same entitlements that workers get in other provinces are red tape for businesses in Alberta is absurd. The UCP have used the idea of red tape to punish workers who call Alberta home.

“Changes to health and safety committees undoubtedly made Alberta workplaces less safe, but in the UCP’s mind, health and safety safeguards are excess bureaucracy that needs to be eliminated.

“The UCP saddled unions with a huge amount of actual red tape by interfering with our internal democracies with their Bill 32, which passed in 2020. The amount of paperwork and expense for unions means less time and money available to fight for workers, their families, and their communities. They seem to think red tape for unions is good for business.

“UCP Leader Danielle Smith and her bloated Cabinet are doing a victory lap on their phony red tape reduction campaign because their focus is on helping profitable businesses, not on the workers who run this province. Their priorities couldn’t be more wrong.”

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John Ashton
Director of Communications, AFL