We know that healthy labour relations directly contribute to economic growth. Independent institutions like the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development have concluded that lower rates of unionization result in stagnating incomes, particularly in the middle class, leading to direct impacts on the growth of our economy and on inequality.
Technological changes - such as the mass adoption of the Internet - are reshaping the way we think about work and creating new kinds of opportunities for many. But for Albertans to fully seize these opportunities, the provincial government should ensure that its labour laws facilitate flexibility in the labour market.
Canadians have a constitutional right to join a union. There is no legal (and I would argue moral) ambiguity about the place of unions in Canada. Conservative governments who can't rewrite the constitution to take that right away will use underhanded tactics to rob Canadians of their rights at work.
OLG has locked workers out of four sites in the last four months of 2015 -- in Brantford, Sudbury, Woodbine/Toronto (all since ended) and most recently Rideau-Carleton/Ottawa. Management locked out 124 of its workers after they rejected what any reasonable observer would conclude was a very lousy offer.
History has shown that when workers act collectively in their workplace they can improve their wages and working conditions. Such collective action has resulted in critical improvements in health and safety standards for workers and for decent wages and benefits.
In every case, the government's anti-union measures are a solution in search of a problem. They are a transparent attempt to damage the financial viability of trade unions and they lay bare the hypocrisy of Conservative parties and governments who, while professing a commitment to streamline useless red tape for Canadian businesses, are ideologically driven to create a choking amount of red tape for trade unions.