According to the AUPE, the government is looking to outsource maintenance works at four facilities, including the Michener Centre South in Red Deer. (File photo from Facebook)

According to the AUPE, the government is looking to outsource maintenance works at four facilities, including the Michener Centre South in Red Deer. (File photo from Facebook)

Alberta gov’t ‘using pandemic as shield to lay off workers,’ says AUPE

The Government of Alberta’s “attacks on workers” is continuing with a new plan to lay off staff and outsource their positions, says the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees.

“Albertans have made it clear that the UCP government should be focusing on two things right now, fighting the pandemic and creating jobs,” said Kevin Barry, vice-president of the AUPE, which represents more than 90,000 workers.

“Instead, what we see are endless attacks on workers and vital services.”

According to the AUPE, the government is looking to outsource maintenance works at four facilities, including the Michener Centre South in Red Deer. Up to 38 AUPE jobs could be affected at the four facilities, according to the group.

The AUPE says the government is using the pandemic as a “shield” to lay off workers.

“Rather than concentrating on keeping Albertans safe during this health crisis, the UCP is using the pandemic as a shield to make radical changes to the way services are delivered,” said Barry.

“The government is embarking on a massive sweep of privatization involving thousands of jobs in different sectors. It is determined to hand over this work to its friends and donors in the corporate world who will make a profit by slashing wages and cutting services.”

The AUPE says in recent months the government has announced that 11,000 front-line health-care jobs will be cut and outsourced. There are also plans to sell off the continuing-care operations of CapitalCare and Carewest. Maintenance jobs at the Royal Museum of Alberta are also being cut and outsourced.

“This government has put a for-sale sign on everything in this province and they hope Albertans won’t notice because they are distracted by the pandemic,” said Barry.

“The most important lesson we should learn from this health crisis is that front-line workers matter. The work they do is important and they have risked their lives to continue to go to work every day. Laying off thousands of them after this is an act of cruelty that Albertans don’t want.”



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