PCA Raises Concerns Over Alberta Labour Law Changes

(Edmonton, May 24, 2017) – The Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA) is pleased the Alberta government heard its warning that now is NOT the time for radical labour code change in Alberta’s current challenging economic climate.

“We recognize that there were all kinds of voices in this debate,” said Paul de Jong, President of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada. “The government appears to have genuinely sought a ‘middle-ground’ in addressing labour code issues.”

However, PCA has concerns with several of the proposed changes, especially card check certification.

“We do not believe that the proposed hybrid model of card-based certification improves the simplest, most basic right of all Canadians: to freely vote in a secret ballot,” said de Jong. “It’s a basic right that’s best left as is.”

PCA also questions why it’s necessary to inject more government into labour processes that have worked well in Alberta by mandating First Contract Arbitration and Remote Site Access. “Existing labour code provisions address these issues while respecting the rights of both management and labour,” added de Jong. “Inserting government into the middle of those discussions creates uncertainty and that’s not the signal we want to send to investors.”

Finally, PCA urges government, management and labour not to lose sight of the big picture.

“International investors follow changes in the labour climate very closely, and their dollars follow their concerns.   Albertans cannot afford to get caught up in regulatory wrangling when what Albertans really need are good, well-paying jobs.”

PCA will be monitoring the progress of Bill 17. It looks forward to working with industry and government to support jobs and strengthen the economy.

About the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA)

PCA is the voice of progressive unionized employers in Canada’s construction industry. PCA member companies employ more than 25,000 skilled construction workers across Canada, represented primarily by CLAC. PCA member companies are responsible for 40 percent of energy and natural resource construction projects in British Columbia and Alberta and are leaders in infrastructure construction across Canada.

For further information, contact:

Mike Martens, Director of Public Affairs, mmartens@pcac.ca (403) 200-7598.