Alberta Politics: Finally, early in the 21st Century, NDP braves Opposition outrage to drag Alberta labour law into the late 20th Century

PHOTOS: Alberta Labour Minister Christina Gray. Below: Opposition MLAs Greg Clark and Richard Starke, who contributed amends to the act passed in the wee hours of yesterday morning. In the wee hours of yesterday morning, the NDP MLAs in the Alberta Legislature dragged the province’s labour laws into the late 20th Century – with MLAs ...

Alberta Politics: Something for the NDP to think about: How about bringing Alberta’s labour laws into the 20th Century? (Never mind the 21st)

PHOTOS: Alberta Labour Minister Christina Gray. Below: Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, Athabasca University Labour Studies Professor Bob Barnetson and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. The CBC says the province’s businesses are “spooked.” The Chamber of Commerce is deeply worried by the prospect of “sweeping reforms.” Naturally, the Chamber also says they’re ...

Alberta Politics: Rain’s forecast, but today promises to be a sunny Labour Day celebration just the same

PHOTOS: A Canadian Labour Day parade, well back in the day. Below: A poster for today’s Labour Day barbecue and picnic in Edmonton, J.S. Woodsworth, first leader of the CCF, and a philatelic tribute to labour. “What we desire for ourselves, we wish for all.” – J.S. Woodsworth, first leader of the CCF Oh, today ...

Alberta Diary: The push-polls prove it again, Canadians hate unions … really, really, really they do! Happy Labour Day

The past is a foreign country: Labour Day in Vancouver, not so long ago. Below: The workers, united, will never be defeated! The goal of union “transparency,” “worker choice,” “right to work” and other Orwellian right-wing buzzwords is to ensure the workers are never united and always defeated. Below that: Stephen Kushner, president of the ...

Alberta Diary: In one day, the ground shifts in Alberta politics in ways unexpected, sometimes uplifting, sometimes troubling

On March 23, Lewis Cardinal became the first nominated federal NDP candidate in Canada for the expected 2015 election. (Photo by Dave Cournoyer, used with permission.) Yesterday he stepped aside in the face of undisclosed health problems. Below: Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson. What a strange day it was yesterday, at times uplifting, at times ...

Alberta Diary: Redford Government resorts to bush-league law breaking as talks with civil servants hit another impasse

Members of the Alberta Government plan their latest strategy to hold the unionized civil service’s approximately 44,000 feet to the fire in negotiations. Actual government officials may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: William Aberhart. Bargaining with the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees at an impasse again, so the government of Premier Alison Redford has ...

Alberta Diary: Will Alison Redford fire Thomas Lukaszuk? She needs to, but don’t count on it happening!

Alberta Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk, at right with Premier Alison Redford, argues with Deputy Premier Dave Hancock, in white suit and goofy glasses, about whether or not to appeal the court injunction against the use of Bill 46. Finance Minister Doug Horner is on the far left. Actual Alberta cabinet ministers may not appear exactly ...

Alberta Diary: Upstairs, downstairs in Alberta explained by Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk: ‘We’re dealing with different job descriptions’

Furious Alberta civil service “oranges” protest high-handed Tory “apples” during their illegal st**ke of 1980. Below: Provincial Treasurer Lou Hyndman in 1976; Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk, no longer missing in action. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose! After a spell during which he appeared to be missing in action, Alberta Labour Minister Thomas ...

Alberta Diary: Oh to be a fly on the cabinet room wall today! Court grants stay on application against AUPE of Bill 46 until Valentine’s Day

Steam vents from the cabinet room at the Alberta Legislature. Actual eruptions of Tory fury may not be exactly as illustrated – and, actually, that’s the Lieutenant Governor’s office. Well, whatever, it’s better than a file shot of the law courts sign! Below: AUPE President Guy Smith. Who wouldn’t want to be a fly on ...

Alberta Diary: Alberta government ponders ‘options’ as independent arbitrator overturns firing of jail guards who took part in illegal strike

AUPE Correctional Officers rally at the picket line outside the Edmonton Remand Centre during their illegal strike in June 2013. Below: Arbitrator Andy Sims; former deputy premier Thomas Lukaszuk, as imagined by Sun Media; AUPE President Guy Smith. An independent arbitrator has overturned the firing of four Correctional Officers who took part in the illegal ...

Alberta Diary: Deputy minister testifies officials prepared anti-labour Bill 46 ‘proactively’ long before cabinet asked for it

AUPE President Guy Smith speaks with the media after Friday’s session of the Alberta Labour Relations Board hearing. Below: Deputy Minister of the Executive Council Peter Watson; AUPE lawyer William Rigutto. It’s probably too much to hope the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees can persuade the Alberta Labour Relations Board the Redford Government had already ...

Alberta Diary: Criminal employers are employers too, Alberta government spokesman says, but illegal strikes are still illegal

If feeding your employees to lions is outlawed, then only outlaws would be able to feed their employees to lions! Or is that the other way around? Whatever. In Alberta, we don’t think it would be fair to criminal employers either way. We also don’t think it’s fair not to let Temporary Foreign Workers be ...

Alberta Diary: Hell freezes over in Alberta: Right-wing Wildrose Party sides with unions, sort of, over unconstitutional Tory bills

AUPE President Guy Smith, left, with Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann and Wildrose House Leader Rob Anderson on the steps of the Alberta Legislature last night. Below: Part of the crowd … the pots and pans start to come out.  With blizzard conditions prevailing throughout most of Alberta today, it was still a surprise when ...

Alberta Diary: Is it time to take our pots and pans into Alberta’s freezing streets?

More than 1,000 union members and their supporters gathered at the Alberta Legislature last night to continue protests against the Redford Government’s Bill 45, which as well as attacking unions assaults Albertans’ Charter-guaranteed right to free speech. Below: Unexpected speaker Joe Anglin; a red square from Quebec. Make it black, pin it on, leave it ...

Alberta Diary: A serious question for Albertans: Is the Redford Government out of control?

Whose House is it? In Alberta, not yours! Public service union members tried to enter the Alberta Legislature yesterday to protest Bills 45 and 46, and soon found the doors barred. Below: Some more of the 400 or so people who braved the coldest spot in Edmonton for an impromptu rally organized by public service ...

Alberta Diary: Redford Government set to impose wage freeze on public employees, blowing winning coalition to smithereens

The state of public service labour relations in Alberta, circa some time this afternoon. Premier Alison Redford, in black, is visible standing at right. Below: Alberta civil servants’ likely response to the government’s plan. Actual events in the near future may not appear exactly as illustrated, especially the part with all the gob hats. Below ...

Alberta Diary: Labour Day, 2013, in North America: Facing up to improving society for everyone

Striking sanitation workers in Memphis, Tenn., in 1968. Martin Luther King played an active role in their struggle. Below: Striking Fast food workers in New York in 2013; Dr. King addressing the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963; marchers on the National Mall in Washington.  With Labour Day 2013 almost upon them, ...

Alberta Diary: Context, Tory MP Russ Hiebert’s shifty campaign for Bill C-377, and me

The Parliamentary trolley, on its way back from the Senate, stops in front of the Prime Minister’s Office in the Langevin Block. The dog at left was never owned by Prime Minister W.L. Mackenzie King, who was well known in his day as a labour expert, although it clearly does not approve of Bill C-377. ...