Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

October 19, 2005 09:44 ET

Solidarity with Workers at Lakeside Packers

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, News Editor, World News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 19, 2005) - The Canadian Labour Congress calls on premier Ralph Klein and the government of Alberta to intervene to uphold and protect the dignity of the workers of Lakeside Packers in Brooks, Alberta and their right to a safe and healthy workplace.

"It is hard to believe, yet it is true, that in 2005, in Canada's apparently richest province, workers are forced to go on strike to obtain bathroom breaks or guarantee the implementation of basic health and safety procedures," says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress.

Georgetti also calls on the premier and government of Alberta to introduce legislation that will provide for first-contract arbitration in cases where the employer insists on frustrating its workers democratic and legal right to form a union and prevent bargaining to proceed to the conclusion of a first collective agreement. For the same reasons, Georgetti urges Alberta to adopt anti-scab legislation.

"The absence of anti-scab legislation makes it too easy for certain types of employers to try to evade their duty to bargain in good faith, regardless of the consequences for workers and community," explains Georgetti. "Such legislation has been in force for over a decade in British Columbia and almost thirty years in Quebec. In these two provinces, picket lines don't give rise to the divisions, the bitterness nor the violence we've seen in Brooks."

"Moreover, because a large proportion of the workforce at Lakeside Packers is immigrants and new Canadians, the government of Alberta has an added duty to ensure that their constitutional equality right and their right to the protection of laws of Alberta are fully respected. Any allegation to the contrary that remains unanswered by the government of Alberta becomes a blight on all of Canada," adds Georgetti.

"I call on every working women and men in Brooks, Alberta, to remain strong and to hold their solidarity. Every day, all over the world, workers strive to make a living and struggle for their rights and improvements to their quality of life. Steadfast solidarity, on the picket line, in the community and beyond, delivers successes in these struggles," concludes Georgetti.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 137 district labour councils. Web site:

Contact Information

  • Jeff Atkinson, Communications Department, Canadian Labour Congress
    Primary Phone: 613-526-7425
    Secondary Phone: 613-863-1413