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AUPE statement: Workers, doctors stand together for basic human rights

It’s wrong to dictate where people live and work

Jul 16, 2020

It’s wrong to dictate where people live and work

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EDMONTON – The 95,000 members of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) have a message for the province’s physicians and government: We stand with doctors in their fight to protect health care and human rights.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro wants to rewrite the rules to force physicians to stay in jobs against their will. This is not the way democracy works.

This is what the UCP government does. It picks fights, then changes the rules to tilt the balance in its favour. This is why we band together and join each other’s battles to fight for the working and living conditions all Albertans deserve. Together, we are stronger.

The Alberta government has shown it has no respect for the rights of those on the front lines of public service or for the Canadian constitution with Bill 1, the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act; Bill 32, Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act; and last year’s Bill 9, the Public Sector Wage Arbitration Deferral Act.

It has shown it has no respect for contracts by unilaterally ripping up the contract with the Alberta Medical Association (AMA).

It has shown that it has no respect for workers or the public services with its constant attacks and demands for cuts to jobs, services and wages, while giving billions of dollars away for profitable corporations.

Attempting to force doctors to stay at jobs where they feel disrespected and bullied is a new low.

Albertans have rights and freedoms. If Albertans want to quit a job in order to make their lives better, it is wrong to use the power of the state to force them to stay, to dictate where they work and where they live.

Albertans also have a right to a health-care system that works. Waging war against doctors in the midst of the COVID-19 health-care crisis is putting Albertans at unnecessary risk.

The labour movement has a saying: “An injury to one is an injury to all.”

AUPE members stand in solidarity with Alberta doctors. Many of our 95,000 members work in health care and many work on the front lines of other public services.

We work every day for Albertans. We will fight to protect those services and we will fight to protect basic human rights.


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