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When the Alberta government passed Bill 32: The Restoring Balance in the Workplace Act in the summer of 2020, a number of observers noted the many ways in which it unfairly targeted unions and their members. My Parkland Institute report analyzing Bill 32, however, made it clear that changes like those in the Act have broader implications for the rights of ALL Albertans. The report, Tipping the Balance, concluded that the legislation represented an Americanization of labour relations in Alberta and that many provisions undermined rights protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Increasing Employer Power at the Workplace
The Impacts of Bill 32 (Part 2)
Most of the coverage of the tabling of Bill 32 has focused on its effects on unions and unionized workers (including Part One of this post published last week). Yet, the most far-reaching impacts of the bill will be on non-unionized workers – those who are protected only by the Employment Standards Code (ESC).
Taking Aim at Unionized Workers
The Impacts of Bill 32 (Part 1)
Bill 32 will have serious impacts on unionized and non-unionized workers, and it will restrict the voices of workers in our democracy. Jason Foster, Associate Professor, Human Resources and Labour Relations at Athabasca University, explains the implications for unionized workers in the first of a two-part blog series.
In the Shadows
Living and Working Without Status in Alberta
This report examines the lives of undocumented migrant workers living in Alberta. It discusses the results of a research study of 32 undocumented workers, outlines the circumstances that led to their loss of status, describes their work and living conditions, and explores their reasons for staying and their hopes for the future.
Two meat-packing plants in southern Alberta have given rise to nearly one in six of Alberta’s 3400 cases of COVID-19. Athabasca University's Bob Barnetson and Jason Foster examine what went wrong at the two meatpacking plants, what it tells us about the inadequacy of OHS policy in Alberta and how the incidents could have been avoided.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has suggested that the federal government should bail out oil and gas companies in response to the COVID-19 crisis and the Saudi-Russian price war. In this blog researcher Ian Hussey explains why that would be a bad idea.
The Future of Alberta's Oil Sands Industry
More Production, Less Capital, Fewer Jobs
This report explores the employment, capital spending, and operational spending implications of the ongoing restructuring and consolidation of the Canadian oil sands industry.
Alberta Budget 2020, released on February 27, continued the UCP commitment to deep spending cuts in public services. Parkland Institute research managers Ian Hussey and Alison McIntosh outline some of the budget's key components.
Alberta’s Coal Phase-Out
A Case Study on Parkland County
Parkland Institute research manager Ian Hussey highlights the community case study on the municipal district of Parkland County from his recent Corporate Mapping Project report, co-written with Emma Jackson, that analyzes Alberta’s coal phase-out to date.
Athabasca University labour relations professor Bob Barnetson analyzes the UCP's Bill 26, which repeals many of the gains Alberta farm workers gained with 2015’s Bill 6, adds new exclusions, and strips agricultural workers of many basic employment rights.