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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
    Cesar Chavez




    :: Sunday, April 02, 2006 ::

    ARE ALBERTA WORKERS BEING LEFT OUT OF THE BOOM? - By SHANNON PHILLIPS, VUE Weekly, Edmonton, Alberta
    The labour shortage in the trades is a matter of some debate. Industry and the government say there is a shortage, but the Alberta Building Trades Council says the shortage is overstated -- releasing figures last year showing a 6.1-per-cent unemployment rate in the construction trades.

    The province's own figures show marked shortages only for boilermakers.

    A leaked communications strategy memo from Suncor in the spring of 2005 on the labour shortage indicated that there is no shortage of tradespeople -- just a shortage of workers who will work on non-union sites.

    McGowan says the hype over the shortage creates a crisis mentality for which the only solution appears to be non-union and temporary foreign workers -- both pools of labour that cost employers less in wages and benefits.
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