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Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley speaks at the Alberta Municipalities Convention and Trade Show at the Calgary Telus Convention Center on Friday, September 23, 2022. Photo by Azin Ghaffari / Postmedia

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Alberta Opposition Leader Rachel Notley is crafting a labor policy platform that would go beyond what her NDP government did when it was in power.

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In a speech to a Building Trades of Alberta (BTA) convention in Jasper on Tuesday, Notley said that if New Democrats form government in Alberta’s next general election, they will end the known practice under the name of “double chest” – employing non-unionized workers and unionized employees in separate subsidiaries of the company.

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The practice was decried by union rights advocates as unfair, but changes were delayed during the NDP’s tenure.

Notley said at the time there was a shortage of jobs rather than skilled workers, and experts warned ‘unintended consequences’ could drag down the economy.

Now, she says, that has changed, adding that the practice undermines the bargaining power of unions.

“We have a shortage of skilled labor in this province and we are trying to bring them back because of these kinds of negative wage pressures, and double breasts are a big part of that.

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Among the slew of election-style promises, Notley said an NDP government would immediately begin work on a building policy that would see requirements for things like worker diversity and fair wages when projects funded by the government would be put out to tender.

She said the specific requirements should be developed in consultation, but could be modeled after a similar policy in British Columbia.

“It’s about making sure public procurement promotes diversity and prioritizes local labor, fair wages, and supports strong communities,” she said, noting that New Democrats launched a related pilot project towards the end of their mandate.

“It’s about scaling up from that,” she said.

While in government, the NDP revised labor laws, expanding worker protections and compensation measures, but many were later reversed by the UCP.

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Notley has fought against these measures and promises a series of repeals, including ensuring that overtime is paid at time and a half and eliminating the lower minimum wage of $ 13 an hour for young people introduced by the PCU.

Building Trades of Alberta represents approximately 60,000 skilled trades workers and 18 local unions.

Tyler Bedford, BTA’s communications director, told Postmedia the organization is non-partisan, but is lobbying all levels of government for social procurement rules, saying they would help get the community working. local population and to ensure that indigenous women and apprentices get to work. .

“It’s just the right thing to do,” he said.

Bedford said the BTA was also eager to see the issue of double breasts addressed.

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“(It) can really lead to a kind of competitive race to the bottom when it comes to wages,” he said.

Notley offered more dedicated funding to union shops in their training and learning efforts, starting with $3 million but growing exponentially if demand is met.

The UCP government has long placed great emphasis on trades and apprenticeship programs, while overseeing years of funding cuts at post-secondary institutions like the University of Alberta.

On Friday, Higher Education Minister Demetrios Niccolaides announced $15 million over three years to expand post-secondary learning programs.

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    Source : edmontonsun.com



    Notley promises end to ‘double chest’ in Alberta in slew of labor pitches – allhomes.news

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