Strengthening the Arbitrary Powers of the State to Attack Workers' Rights

The Anti-Social, Anti-Worker and Anti-National Direction of the Alberta Government

The Alberta Federation of Labour and many individual unions are mobilizing their members to oppose Bill 32 and stand up for the collective rights of workers and against the blatant interference in their affairs by the Kenney government.

Workers' Forum calls on all workers to join these mobilizations, demand that Bill 32 be repealed and stop all anti-democratic measures based on pushing an anti-social, anti-worker and anti-national agenda.

The Kenney Alberta government is looking for undisputed power to pay the rich and pursue integration into the U.S. Empire and its war machine. That is the direction it has given for the oil industry in line with the demands of Big Oil. Billions of dollars in public funds are being paid to the rich to build pipelines to the south to feed the military beast as well as to finance debts and deficits while investments in social programs are decreased, health care is privatized, the oil barons are let off the hook for their orphaned and abandoned oil wells, all in the name of economic recovery. The government which serves narrow private interests and their pundits in the media, think tanks and academic institutions, come up with endless versions of tired old schemes in the name of "economic recovery" and to support the "foundational industries," which need, in fact, a new direction and aim.

To prevent any positive change, this government is strengthening the arbitrary powers of the executive to silence the voice of the workers and others and to block their organized struggle in defence of their rights and for an Alberta whose direction and future they can discuss and participate in setting.

The Kenney government and the rich oligarchs it serves treat Alberta as if it is their private property to do with as they wish. Their project, with its anti-social, anti-worker and anti-national aims, can never serve the province or people of Alberta. Their provocative methods which misuse the democratic institutions to achieve and justify what cannot be justified can never serve the province and people of Alberta.

Alberta workers and workers across Canada have shown and continue to show during the pandemic that workers are the essential human factor for production, progress and the well-being of the people. Workers are not subservient to that social force Kenney refers to as the "job creators." That social force represents the obstacle, the roadblock to solving society's problems, because that social force is consumed by its narrow private aim to profit off the natural resources and the work of working people which transforms those resources into useful products.

Workers are the creators of the social wealth that society and the people depend on for their living and well-being. They know they must uphold the public interest if their own individual interest is to hold any meaning. This is why the definition of what constitutes the public interest and who gets to define it is at the heart of the opposition to the anti-democratic measures the government is taking.

The Kenney government is espousing the tired old neo-liberal mantra of the Mike Harris government in Ontario and the Harper federal government. We are told: workers must support the drive of the "job creators" for greater profits and greater control over all sectors of the economy because something will "trickle down" in terms of jobs, wages and security.

Nothing is going to trickle down but more instability, misery and impunity. The recurring crises show that this ruling elite is a spent force with nothing to offer. They cannot solve problems because the solving of problems would interfere with their private interests, privilege and power. They are unable to think outside the realm of imposing their backward ideas on the people. Enough!

The actions of the Kenney government and the governments of Ontario and Quebec during this pandemic and crisis are a clear message to Alberta workers and others across Canada and Quebec that they can expect no solution from those who do not share weal and woe with them.

Let us uphold the dignity of labour by building the workers' opposition to the anti-democratic methods being used by governments at all levels to further narrow private interests. Undermining workers' unions must not pass!

This article was published in

Number 51 - July 30, 2020

Article Link:
Strengthening the Arbitrary Powers of the State to Attack Workers' Rights: The Anti-Social, Anti-Worker and Anti-National Direction of the Alberta Government


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