Friday, September 9, 2011

Labour code review: Do as I say, not as I do?

Over the past few weeks, there has been significant chatter about a quiet review of Alberta’s labour laws related to the construction sector. Minister of Employment and Immigration Thomas Lukaszuk has appointed two lawyers to look into suggestions for change proposed by a group of construction sector interests, including Merit Contractors and CLAC (the Christian Labour Association of Canada).

There is a solid rebuttal of Merit’s rationale for these changes and this review by the AFL. The response by Merit fails to address the points raised by McGowan.

An important question raised by this review is why can a small employer group get a review done upon request, while a 24,000 name union petition for a review from 2007 remains ignored?

Among the changes proposed by Merit are legislative restrictions that would prohibit unions from using member dues for political activities without the prior consent of their members. The basis for this recommendation is unclear. Is this a rampant problem? Do political contributions by interest groups somehow harm the workings of democracy?

If there is any real reason for this recommendation, one might ask why Merit doesn’t lead by example? Insight into Government reports that Merit contractors may be the heaviest contributor to the progressive conservative leadership campaigns now underway.

Merit Contractors shows up as giving between $15,000 and $30,000 to Morton, between $10,000 and $19,999 to Mar, and between $10,000 and $30,000 to Redford.

Whatever the reasons for this seemingly “do as I say, not as I do” recommendation, perhaps this practice provides some insight into the greater responsiveness of the government to employers than to workers?

-- Bob Barnetson


Bob Barnetson said...

Doug Horner has just released his donor list and Merit Contractors is in the $5001-$10000 category.

Bob Barnetson said...

Doug Griffith has just released his donor list and Merit COntractors is on the $5000+ category.