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Judy Darcy, CUPE National President called on CUPE members to rise up and build a labour and people’s coalition against the Klein government’s latest attacks on labour rights.

This is the thin edge of the wedge,” said Darcy. “When you combine Bill 12 with the threat to tear up the collective agreements of health care workers in the Mazankowski Report, you can be sure that the carnage in British Columbia is coming to Alberta,” she added.

In British Columbia, the Campbell government is going after the collective agreements of public sector workers with surgical precision. In order to implement health care privatization, the Klein government has already targeted the collective agreements of health care workers and the protections in the Alberta Labour Code. Every Albertan should be concerned about what will happen in their communities,” says Darcy.

Page 71 of the Mazankowski Report recommends the appointment of an implementation commissioner with the power to address barriers to implementation of reform including union agreements and provisions in the Alberta Labour Code. The Alberta government announced its intention to implement the Mazankowski package of reforms on January 24.

We will not allow them to pick us off one at a time. We are sending a message to the government that if they even consider tearing up our collective agreements they will be taking on all of CUPE and the entire labour movement in Alberta,” said Darcy.

In Alberta, there is a renewed commitment to oppose privatization with labour solidarity growing in action against Bill 12 and in support of public health care,” she added.

CUPE Alberta is working closely with the friends of Medicare in opposition to the Mazankowski reforms. Darcy urged all CUPE members in Alberta to support the local chapters of the Friends of Medicare in their communities.

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CUPE is Canada’s largest union with over half a million women and men who provide public services. In Alberta, CUPE’s 31,000 members work in health care, municipalities, schools, colleges, universities, libraries, emergency medical services, social services and casinos. Visit our CUPE websites for more information www.cupe.ca and www.cupealberta.ab.ca

For further information:

Pam Beattie CUPE Communications (780) 288-1230 (cellular)