Opinion: This Labour Day, Alberta workers prepare for the fight ahead

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The evidence is clear: When a profit motive is included, the quality of service suffers. After all, where else are all those corporate bonuses, mega salaries and shareholder dividends going to come from, except from the money that was supposed to pay for the safety of our children, parents, neighbours, friends and co-workers.

So, this Labour Day is not a time to sit back rest, reflect and celebrate all we have achieved to make this province and this country a place where working people can succeed and where there is fairness and justice.

This Labour Day, we prepare to fight.

We prepare to battle an ideological government who will pat us on the back on Labour Day and stab us in the back the next day, a government that wants to steal money from workers and hand it over to billionaires.

We prepare to fight against unconstitutional legislation that seeks to take away our power to protest and to picket, that seeks to turn peaceful protesters into criminals.

Of course, part of that fight against unconstitutional legislation will take place in the courts, but the real battle must be on the streets.

What this government has forgotten is that it doesn’t get to tell us how or where we fight. If there’s one lesson to learn from labour history, it’s that our victories have always been won when we take direct action against oppressive employers and governments.

This Labour Day, we advise the Alberta government to heed that lesson.

AUPE members and countless other workers know the score. We’re preparing to fight. Because when we fight, we win.

Guy Smith is president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, Western Canada’s largest union, with more than 95,000 members.

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