Hundreds of unionists have come out to protest legislation presented by the western Canadian province of Alberta that sets fines for illegal strikes by the public sector, and for anyone promoting the idea of going on strike.
Photo Credit: CBC

Province of Alberta prepares to fine public sector strikers, or anyone suggesting a strike


Two laws limiting union rights that are about to come into effect in the western Canadian province of Alberta have sparked demonstrations and opposition party condemnation.

Introduced by the ruling Progressive Conservative party of Premier Alison Redford, Bill 46 will impose a collective agreement on the province’s public sector employees, if no agreement is reached by January 31, 2014.

Bill 45 imposes heavy fines should the unionized public sector workers go on strike.

Bill 45 also apparently would restrict the right of anyone from suggesting that employees should go on strike. See article 4(4) below:

  • 4(1) No employee and no trade union or officer or representative of a trade union shall cause or consent to a strike.
  • 4(2) No employee and no officer or representative of a trade union shall engage in or continue to engage in any conduct that constitutes a strike threat or a strike.
  • 4 (4) No person shall counsel a person to contravene subsection (1) or (2) or impede or prevent a person from refusing to contravene subsection (1) or (2).

RCI’s Wojtek Gwiazda spoke to Jason Foster an industrial relations expert who teaches at Alberta’s Athabasca University.


More information:
Text of Bill 45 – Public Sector Services Continuation Act (pdf) – here
Text of Bill 46 – Public Service Salary Restraint Act (pdf) – here
CBC News – Unions protest new Alberta labour bills – here
Edmonton Journal – ‘Nuclear’ crackdown on illegal strikes unwarranted, Alberta labour leader says – here
Bob Barnetson – So what is behind Bill 45? – here
Dave Climenhaga – If the deputy premier wants free speech for Ukraine so badly, why is he attacking it in Alberta? – here
Jason Foster more information – here

Update December 5, 2012:
Global News – Bills 45 and 46 pass despite outcry by Alberta’s largest union – here

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