First contract arbitration means that once a new workplace has been unionized, rather than proceeding to collective bargaining moving to strike or lockout, it would move directly to arbitration. This flies in the face of a recent court decision giving more workers the right to strike.
First contract arbitration would tilt the balance in favour of union bosses and cripple businesses by forcing them to grant massive concessions. Restrictive labour laws add cost and uncertainty at a time when it’s already very difficult to attract investment to Alberta.
The government’s Throne Speech talked a lot about job creation. Alberta needs tens of thousands of jobs to help the thousands of families struggling to make mortgage or rent payments and put food on the table.
How is increasing the cost of doing business for newly unionized workplaces going to create jobs? The simple answer is it’s not going to create jobs. By passing a critical step in the voluntary collective bargaining process by eliminating the right to strike and imposing a first contract, this will threaten the survival of businesses. If these businesses are put at risk, so too is the livelihood of those who work for these business. So, instead of creating jobs we risk losing even more!