Strike law shows government can't handle dissent: AFL

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Strike law shows government can't handle dissent: AFL

The Redford government is introducing a new anti-strike legislation because it can't handle dissent.

That's according to the Alberta Federation of Labour whose speaking up against Bill 45, which penalizes unions, their representatives and workers with fines and jail time.

"When corrections workers and health care workers took a day or two off the job in the last couple of years, it's not been about wages. It's been about public safety, safety on the job, and making sure there are enough people to deliver health care services to Albertans," says AFL President Gil McGowan in a news release. "This isn't about public sector wages or budgets, it's about stifling dissent."

Public Sector Services Continuation Act includes fines of up to $1000 for each day of a strike or lockout that would be applied to unions, their representatives and employers. Workers can face fines of up to $5000 if the bill is passed.

President Gil McGowen says the government is suggesting that Albertans need to be protected from public sector workers by fining or jailing them.

"The people the Redford government wants to put in jail for the crime of standing up for safety and the quality of public services are the same people who she lauded as heroes for helping the province respond to the floods in southern Alberta," says McGowan. "Six months ago, Redford called them heroes, now they are being cast as villains."

According to AFl, 97 per cent of collective agreements are negotiated without labour disruptions.
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