Unions urge Albertans to boycott pro-UCP businesses

A group of unions is asking Albertans to boycott dozens of businesses that backed the UCP government in the last election.

The Alberta Federation of Labour has launched a website that lists 166 businesses, as well as a handful of individuals connected to those companies, that donated to UCP political action committees.

“Why should nurses and teachers and firefighters who are facing the prospect of losing their jobs or having their wages cut spend their consumer dollars at companies that were bankrolling this agenda that is targeted them?” asked AFL president Gil McGowan.

“Why should they spend their hard-earned consumer dollars at businesses that are cheerleading for privatization and cuts?”

McGowan said members had been asking for such information, which focuses on the PACs Shaping Alberta’s Future and Alberta Advantage Fund

“The goal is to simply provide information to our members and members of the broader public so they can make informed decisions about consumer choice,” he said.

From auto dealerships to energy companies, businesses are listed in major cities such as Edmonton and Calgary as well as centres stretching across Alberta from Slave Lake to Lethbridge. 

But businesses are already struggling during the pandemic, the provincial government said.

“This is deeply disturbing that in the middle of a huge recession, we have the NDP and its special interest friends attacking Alberta job creators at their most challenging time in a century,” said Premier Jason Kenney.

“Job creators that are struggling to keep the doors open and keep paying people to put food on the table. Job creators without whom there would be no government revenues to fund the social programs that we all depend on.”

He said just like unions, businesses have a right to express their views about the best policies for a society, including support for an Alberta-run pension.

“To say that supporting that position should put you in the cross hairs of a smear campaign, a bully campaign, using intimidation tactics, to try to hurt those businesses is I think, un-Albertan,” Kenney said.

The UCP government passed Bill 32 so that workers can opt out of union dues if they do not want to be associated with “campaigns designed to kill jobs in Alberta,” said Doug Schweitzer, minister of jobs, economy and innovation.

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