Oct. 19, 2020
The Honourable Jason Kenney, MLA Calgary-Lougheed
Premier of Alberta
307 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2B6
Dear Premier Kenney,
As you know, the controversial Policy 3, which suggested Alberta become a “Right-To Work” jurisdiction, passed at the United Conservative Party virtual AGM this past weekend.
I, along with the more than 60,000 hard-working Albertans within the Building Trades of Alberta, are concerned over this development. And while I understand just 670 UCP members voted in favour of Policy 3, I strongly urge the province not to adopt this party policy as government policy.
Not only is “Right-To-Work” unlikely to survive the Charter challenges it would surely produce, it could also lower Albertans’ wages, benefits, protections and more by curbing the ability of unions to collectively bargain. This would do serious harm to both union and non-union workers province-wide, and result in devastating economic consequences.
The reduction to household incomes “Right-To-Work” would yield could result in the further inability of most Albertans to contribute to local economies. This would have a destructive snowball effect for many small businesses, shops, restaurants and more. We can’t let that happen. We all know our economy is in desperate need of support given the current double-whammy of COVID-19 and the collapse of commodity prices.
I must also note, less income means less tax revenue, which will reduce provincial income and only add to Alberta’s multi-billion-dollar debt load. Moreover, it needs to be said that despite its clever name, “Right-To-Work” does not guarantee people a job nor does it create work.
There are several more concerns with “Right-To-Work” I would like to discuss with you at your earliest convenience. I will make myself available for this meeting with you at any time.
With the most recent fiscal update highlighting Alberta is close to $100-billion in debt, has an economy expected to contract by nine per cent, and predicts no improvement to unemployment numbers until next year, we all need to pull together to do what’s best for the province and those who work hard every day to make it run. “Right-To-Work” is not that way.
Terry Parker, Executive Director
Building Trades of Alberta