Dear Honorable Member of the Alberta Legislature Assembly,
I am contacting you to raise my concerns in regards to the Alberta Labour Relations Code in the construction sector here in Alberta. Over the past 30 years Alberta's Labour Code has slowly eroded worker's ability to form their own Union or to be represented by Unions if they so choose.
There are three areas of the Labour Code i would like to speak to:
1. Construction Industry Double Breasting
The practice of double breasting and even triple breasting have become commonplace in Alberta under Section 192 Construction common employer declarations of the Labour Code. Double Breasting is when companies owned and/or operated by the same individuals or the same corporate parent have a Union and a Non-Union operation which renders our collective bargaining rights meaningless.
i would like to see provisions of Section 192 removed from the labour code and a return to language which recognizes worker's collective bargaining rights when it comes to successorship of common employers.
2. Right to Strike
in 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada in a 5 - 2 decision, granted an appeal by the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour that the Right to Strike was protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Justice Roselle Abella wrote "The ability to engage in the collective withdrawal of services in the process of negotiation of a collective agreement is therefore, and has historically been, the irreducible minimum of the freedom to associate in Canadian labour relations."
Division 6, Collective Bargaining Sections 184 - 191 under Part 3 Construction Industry Labour relations has severely limited the members of individual trade unions in the construction sector from this Charter Protected Right.
In 2015 the Alberta Government took measures to return Healthcare and Public service employees Right to Strike back to them. I believe that construction workers should have the same Right to Strike put back in the individual trade union's hands to ensure a meaningful collective bargaining process in the construction industry.
3. Certification Process
The Alberta Labour Code, Division 5, currently requires employees of Non-Union employers to vote multiple times before them can form or join a union of their choice. This system allows employers to threaten , intimidate, scare or coerce people into voting against the Union as it leads up to each vote. This multi-step process lends itself to be abusive and should be abolished. when 50% + 1 employees have taken their own time to consider and decide to support a union's application for certification by signing a petition there would be a one-step voting process. As well, the employers face no real penalties or consequences for illegally interfering with union certification votes. I believe that the law should be changed so that an employer who does interfere with a certification vote that the employer be automatically certified by the Labour Board.
CC:Honourable Premier Rachel Notley
Honourable Minister of Labour Christina Gray