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Strong majority of AB entrepreneurs say unionizing their workplace would have negative impact

Removing secret ballot voting for union certification a top concern for business owners

CALGARY, May 23, 2017 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released new survey data today that shows Alberta’s entrepreneurs have serious concerns with the Alberta government’s drastic overhaul of employment rules. Almost nine out of ten (88 per cent) of Alberta entrepreneurs anticipate moving towards unionized workplaces would have a negative impact on their business.

Reports indicate amendments to the Employment Standards and Labour Relations code could be tabled as early as tomorrow.

“It’s no coincidence over the past couple of decades Alberta has enjoyed an extended period of peaceful labour relations, low unemployment, the highest average weekly earnings, along with the lowest level of private sector unionization. The critical ingredient to Alberta’s success has been creating a climate that offers extensive opportunities and workplace flexibility for both employers and employees. Changing the Labour Code to make it dramatically easier for unions to setup flies directly in the face of that progress,” said Amber Ruddy, Alberta Director.

In survey of 800 Alberta businesses conducted in April, business owners were asked: “To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements regarding labour relations”

·         Unionization of my workplace would have a negative impact on my business: 88 per cent agreed (84 per cent strongly agreed and 4 per cent somewhat agreed), while 3 per cent disagreed (2 per cent somewhat disagreed and 1 per cent strongly disagreed), and 9 per cent didn’t know.

·         Secret ballot votes should be mandatory for union certification: 56 per cent agreed (45 per cent strongly agreed and 11 per cent somewhat agreed), while 13 per cent disagreed (1 per cent somewhat disagreed and 12 per cent strongly disagreed), and 31 per cent didn’t know.

“We are concerned potential changes outlined in the labour review put the interests of big unions above those of Alberta’s small business owners. In addition to higher taxes and escalating wage pressures this government has levelled on small and medium-sized businesses over the past two years, these new regulations are simply piling on more costs and headaches,” concluded Ruddy.

To arrange an interview with Amber Ruddy, please contact us at [email protected] or 1-866-444-9290. For more information please visit 

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region, including 10,000 in Alberta. 

May 23, 2017

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