Union leaders' secret agenda: force, power

Edmonton-based Merit Contractors Association of Alberta launched a second ad campaign challenging union leaders fronting the "Albertans for Change" coalition to come clean about their secret agenda for Alberta. Merit's campaign responds to new attack ads against the Stelmach government from the labour coalition headed up by leaders of the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) and the Alberta Building Trades Council (ABTC).

In Edmonton, Stephen Kushner, President of Merit Contractors Association, stated, "For the first time in Alberta's history, union leaders are aggressively spending mandatory union dues to try to unseat a provincial government with expensive American style attack ads. These ads make no mention of Alberta's labour laws or workplaces. Merit believes union leaders have a secret hidden agenda that if implemented will not be good for Albertans."

The Merit ads charge "Albertans for Change" is nothing more than anAlbertan version of the "Working Families" special interest organization setup by Ontario union leaders to help Ontario Liberals gain power in 2003 and get re-elected in 2007.

"The payback costs in Ontario were high - especially in the construction industry," says Kushner. After being elected, Dalton McGuinty's governmentrewrote Ontario's labour laws that, among other things, took away the right of construction workers to have a secret ballot vote on unionization elections.

The Albertans for Change ads say nothing about changing Alberta's labour laws. However, the legislative proposals of the organizations financing the ads call for similar changes to be made in Alberta. Kushner noted, "This election is similar in tone to recent Ontario elections when labour laws were not debated. Yet, after reading the platforms of both Opposition parties, it's clear they have bought into the union leaders demands. Albertans should know this information when they cast their ballots on March 3 and not let union leaders tell them how to vote."


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