Bill 32 follows the lead of US Republican-led anti-union efforts, and would make Alberta the only jurisdiction in Canada to restrict the ability of labour unions to raise public awareness and campaign on issues critical to their membership and working people in general.
The bill also attacks workers’ freedom of expression and assembly by legislating restrictions on where unions are allowed to picket and forcing them to apply to the Labour Board for permission to picket.
“This legislation is a brazen, anti-democratic attack that would set workers’ rights back generations, all so Jason Kenney can tip the scales in favour of his executive boardroom buddies,” said CUPE National President Mark Hancock. “This bill is a disgrace on its own, but introducing it during a global pandemic, when workers are depending on their unions to stand up for their right to safe workplaces and fair pay, is shameful.”
Bill 32 is a clear attempt by the Kenney government to suppress legitimate criticism of government policies, like slashing the minimum wage and privatizing health care, by labour organizations.
“Unions are a critical part of the democratic process in Canada, as the voice for working people when the deck is already stacked against them in favour of employers and governments,” said CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury. “CUPE will be there to fight this bill wherever we can, whether that’s in court, at the legislature, or in the streets.”