Alberta Federation of Labour
50th Constitutional Convention
This is OUR TIME
Unions’ & Alberta’s Progressive Future
April 27-30, 2017
In attendance: 277 delegates, 1 alternate, 85 guests, 23 observers, 2 media
Attachments: 2017 Convention Issue Primers
Resolutions and Disposition of Resolutions on the Order Paper
Welcome by Maxx Yellowdirt, Elder
Video Greetings, Honorable Premier Rachel Notley
Making Life Better for Working Albertans - Honorable Christina Gray, Minister of Labour
What It means to have working people in government -
Christina Gray, Minister of Labour and Democratic Renewal
Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs
Proactive Public Policy: Keeping Pace with an Evolving Economy -
Kaylie Tiessen, Economist and Researcher, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)
Why Canadian Workers Need to Fight Like Hell for Labour Rights… Including the Right for More Worker to Join Unions - David Madland PhD, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress, Washington DC
Madland is the author of Hollowed Out: Why the Economy Doesn’t Work without a Strong Middle Class. Reviews called the book “a dramatic and clearly delineated outline of the coming fight between trickle-down and middle-class economics,” and wrote that “Madland’s book makes a strong and clear argument that an economy geared around the middle class is not only more in keeping with democratic and liberal norms, but it’s simply better economics, too.”
Employers love “weak” unions
Build/maintain power – organize in workplace
Build grassroots political power
Union density in US in 1980 private sector – 20%; now 6%
Union density in Alberta in 1980 private sector 20%; now 11%
Labour Movement is a conduit for public opinion into the political process
117 economists in NY Government… wiser to raise taxes on wealthy than cut spending on programs benefitting lower and middle class.
Middle Class CONSUMERS are the ‘Job Creators’ (Must Watch 6 Minute Video) Nick Hanauer is a venture capitalist from Seattle, whose speech at the TED University conference was deemed "too politically controversial to post on their web site."
Dreaming Bigger Panel - Tweaking Labour Law Isn’t Enough:
Precarious Work - Deena Ladd, Workers’ Action Centre
Inequality - Rafael Gomez PhD, University of Toronto
Sectoral Bargaining, Jim Sinclair, Past President, BC Federation of Labour
Organized Labour and Indigenous Peoples – Tian Keeper, Actor/Producer, Activist, Former MP
Hussan Yussuff, President, Canadian Labour Congress
Dream Bigger Panel – Expanding the Medicare Umbrella
Pharmacare – Steven Morgan, UBC
Long-term Care – Stephen Elliot-Buckley, Political Scientist, CUPE
Dental Care and Eye Care – Joy Correia, Labour Relations Officer, NASA
Dream Bigger Panel – Transforming the Economy:
Green Jobs – Binnu Jeyakumar, director of the Pembina Institute's electricity program. Before joining the Pembina Institute, Binnu served as an asset management strategy developer for TransAlta's renewable generation, in which role she helped develop a strategy for maintaining critical assets in the hydro-electric fleet, facilitated workshops with operations, maintenance and engineering staff to conduct analyses of risks and system failures, and evaluated the risks with flood management structures.
Child Care – Morna Ballantyne, Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada
Free Tuition – Bilan Arte, Canadian Federation of Students
Fixing Alberta’s Broken Revenue System, Diana Gibson, Policy Analyst, Policy Link
Worth Voting for: How Unions Can Help Swing Elections in Favour of Progressive Parties (Lessons from the Australian Your Rights at Work Campaign) – Kathie Muir PhD, University of Adelaide, Australia
The International Monetary Fund – Economic growth slowed down because of inequality
Your Rights at Work (YR@W campaign)
36 ways to get fired
Dr. Muir advocated the use of focus polls/groups to determine what Union Members are thinking, what they need and what they want to hear; and then how to address their issues/concerns in a platform and a campaign. She cautioned that Union Leaders are not always in touch with/aware of how the rank and file perceives political agendas and votes. (Trump)
Three resolutions defeated:
The Alberta Federation of Labour will support and advocate for Alberta to adopt a progressive provincial sales tax and income tax structure that will assist in ensuring a more stable and sustainable fiscal structure to pay for our valued public services.
Alberta Federation of Labour will advocate mitigating the effects that a sales tax may have on low income earners by making the tax progressive and implementing other tax changes first.
Alberta Executive Council Revenue Reform Ad Hoc Committee
The Alberta Federation of Labour will amend Article 1.10.6 of its constitution to read: (c) The Alberta Federation of Labour shall pay for all the associated costs incurred by committee delegates, including travel, lost wages and per diem.
CUPE Local 38
The Alberta Federation of Labour will amend Article 1.13.2(b) of its constitution to read: (b) Political Action Fund – Each affiliated union, branch, lodge shall be encouraged to pay before the last day of July each year beginning 2015, the amount of up to three dollars (3.00) per member per year to be used for political, advocacy and engagement work designed to create a more worker-friendly governments and public policies.
CUPE Local 38
LAPP is 97% funded
Supreme Court of Canada affirmation of Labour Union Rights
Winner of this year’s International Women’s Day Award – Member of IBEW Local 424, Journeyman Electrician
A Union Member's Creed
I am a union worker and I shall not undermine the welfare of my fellow brothers and sisters. Canadian working people laboured too long and too hard for me to destroy their gains by purchasing non-union.
I am a union family person who has been blessed with a decent living. I have come to enjoy the better things because of the devotion, dedication, and the desire of those before me who laboured to provide a standard of living unparalleled in the world. I shall not destroy atl their efforts and render helpless all the causes they so earnestly fought to win for workers.
I am a trade unionist and refuse to reward those who have opposed my existence and way of life. I will not permit my union-earned dollars to penetrate the walls of those establishments where a union card is the same as a "No Vacancy" or "Not Welcome." As a person who believes in the dignity and rights of people, before I buy I shall look for the union label, shop card, store card or service button. In so doing I will strengthen the security of men and women who believe as I do in the goals of a free labour movement.
I am a member of organized labour and will never forget that I would not be able to purchase the amount of products t do without a union job and, therefore, common sense and a deep commitment to the ideals of our movement demand that I purchase those products which will further our cause.
I will support and strengthen my fellow brothers and sisters by using a simple tool - the label golden rule "Buy union products and use union services as you would have union wages paid unto you!"
2017 AFL Convention BUY CANADIAN
Unstackthedeck.ca – e-mail your MLA regarding changes to the Labour Relations and Employment Standards Codes
Call Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and remind him of Liberal campaign promises to stop new installations of community mailboxes and restore door-to-door service to those households that have lost it. The restoration has not happened.
Lobby for/support and expansion of services to include Postal Banking
Hanguponabuse.ca – Sign the petition to end abuse of call centre workers