MLA Guthrie: Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplace

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I hope everyone in our community is doing well and staying safe. As our economy reopens, our government is putting the interest of Albertans first and proposing legislation that restores balance and confidence in businesses across the province.

New rules to reduce red tape and barriers to job creation build on the estimated 50,000 jobs that will be created through immediate investments in projects across Alberta.

I am pleased to share Alberta’s government is introducing new measures that support economic recovery, restore workplace balance and get Albertans back to work.

Bill 32, or the Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act, proposes changes to reduce red tape for job creators and keep Albertans employed, and support worker choice.

If passed, this bill could save job creators up to $100 million each year by making daily operations more streamlined. This means job creators can potentially use that money to invest back into their business to create more jobs across the province, which is a win for the government, the worker, and the taxpayer.

One of the new changes that benefits employees is workers must get at least 30 minutes of rest every 5 hours for shifts that are longer than 5 hours. The rest period can be within or immediately after the 5 hours of work, or at any time mutually agreed upon by the employer and employee. This ensures an

employee doesn’t get burnt out and also makes the worker more productive to the employer.

We are also empowering youth who want a job, to get one. All too often I hear stories from constituents whose kids want to work at 13, just coaching soccer or working at a kid’s camp to earn some extra cash over the summer, however they’re rejected because of their age.

Now, 13 and 14-year-olds would be allowed to do a wider range of jobs without their employer getting a permit first. Types of jobs include light janitorial work in offices, coaching and tutoring. It also includes some jobs in the food service industry if the youth is working with someone 18 or older.

Other measures in the bill would prevent union leaders from using union dues to fund political causes unless the member provides consent.

This is the core part of our legislation as to often we see union leaders abuse union dues for their own political gain. Take national unions and NDP-affiliates like the Alberta Federation of Labour for example, who use their workers’ dues to actively campaign against Albertans, their jobs and our foundational industries.

We are also protecting workers from being forced to fund political organizations without explicit opt-in approval. Not every union member supports the political activities of their Union. Some individuals are not even political and shouldn’t have their hard-earned money allocated to something like political engagement when they have no concern. Whether the Union supports an opposition party, our party, or issues for and against the government, the union members must have the individual freedom to decide if they want to support those endeavors.

We are champions of individual worker rights and we are following through with our campaign promise to protect workers, restore balance and strengthen democracy. Bill 32 puts an end to these ideological attacks.

As we begin the long road to economic recovery in our province, it is essential to reduce the costs of doing business and keep our province working.

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