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

    :: Thursday, January 18, 2007 ::

    Labour wants respect from new Tory regime - By Alan Kellogg, The Edmonton Journal
    What's up in the House of Labour?

    'Well, there's never any shortage of issues,' offered Gil McGowan with a implied grin over the line Monday.

    The next day, in the flesh, the president of the Alberta Federation of Labour gets specific. In fact, the current Alberta boom carries much the same shopping basket of opportunities, challenges and frustrations for organized labour as any other sphere. It will not come as a surprise that the province sports the lowest percentage of union membership of any jurisdiction in the country.

    But the fact is, not by much. Around 25 per cent of Alberta workers are covered by union contracts. That compares with 26 per cent in Ontario, and 30 per cent in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, provinces with NDP governments.

    In Alberta, union membership has remained steady for a decade.

    'And compared with the movement of labour representation in the U.S. and Europe, we're still holding our own, doing better,' declares McGowan.

    Which is not to suggest he's turning cartwheels. The Klein government was not only notoriously anti-labour but also astonishingly slow in anticipating the need for skilled workers. McGowan and his confreres are happy to see a change at the politburo.

    Still ..."
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