December 21, 2015

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Hello, everyone!

Well, here we are! Four days until Christmas (for those of us who celebrate it). Have you got all your decorations up? Your presents bought and wrapped? Have you been good all year? Me neither!

As you know, Unions have fought long and hard to ensure that workers are treated fairly. One of the things that is included in that is the right for workers to observe or celebrate special days, such as Christmas, without being required to work, and without having to forego pay. In Alberta, there are 9 statutory holidays, including Christmas, as well as two more optional days: Heritage Day and Boxing Day. Further, people who are required to work on those day can receive overtime pay (another fact of the working life that Unions struggled for the benefit of workers).

These benefits are available to most workers – many of whom are not Union workers. So why do they get the benefits that our predecessors worked so hard to win for us? Because employers realize that if they did not provide benefits comparable to what Unionized workers can get, then everyone will Unionize! So, whether people work Union or not, everyone has Unions to thank for having holidays, getting paid over the stat holidays, and getting overtime when they have to work those days.

So while they are nestled snug in their beds over the holiday, with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads, know that they have Unions to thank. As do we all. And to all, a good night!

Have a great time over the Christmas break. If you celebrate Christmas, have a merry one. If Christmas isn’t your thing, enjoy the general sense of good cheer permeating the province. Get out and enjoy the beautiful winter that Alberta provides us. And go see Star Wars.

See you in 2016.


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