Clamping down on union dues while accepting donations from the rich
EDMONTON – Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) members are dropping the mask on Bill 32, which AUPE Secretary-Treasurer Jason Heistad says is just another UCP attack on working people’s ability to build people power and fight for all Albertans disguised as “employee choice.”
If passed, Bill 32: Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act, 2020, revealed today (July 7), will prohibit unions from using union dues to contribute to social causes or issues, charities, non-governmental organizations, groups affiliated with or supportive of a political party or “any activities prescribed by the regulations,” even where union members have democratically voted to support such causes and organizations.
“The UCP are weaponizing unclear legislative language to get their way,” says Heistad.
“Fighting for equality in the workplace; for better occupational health and safety (OHS) standards that keep us and our families safe; for stronger social services; for adequate, affordable housing; for equal and fair access to free healthcare: all of this is a social issue, and it’s at the heart of our everyday mobilizing and collective bargaining.”
The one exception to the restrictions set out in Bill 32 is where individual union members expressly consent to have their dues go towards the causes and organizations listed in the legislation.
“The UCP want us to think this bill is about individual choice. It’s really about dismantling our collective power, which is our political power. And that’s clearly what this government fears most.
Bill 32 is just a veiled attempt to throw up barriers to members banding together and advocating for issues that matter most to them.”
For AUPE members across the province, the hypocrisy is baffling.
“While the UCP clamp down on workers and their unions, they’re accepting donations from the one percent, their corporate pals, who are getting the lion’s share of Alberta’s prosperity and the biggest soapbox to advocate for their interests in exchange.”
Please contact: Celia Shea, AUPE communications officer, 780-720-8122