AFL wants meeting with Kenney over worker protections from COVID-19

Alberta Federation of Labour wants to meet with Premier Kenney and his labour minister for commitments that UCP government will protect workers facing workplace outbreaks.

The Canadian Press

RED DEER, Alta. — The president of the Alberta Federation of Labour wants a meeting with the premier and provincial labour minister to ensure workplaces with COVID-19 outbreaks are shut down.

Gil McGowan is making the demand a day after Olymel indefinitely closed its pork plant in central Alberta, which has been linked to hundreds of virus cases and the death of one worker.

He says he aims to remind the United Conservative government that its job is to protect the public and not the profits of corporations.

A statement from the labour group links to a letter that Alberta Health Services wrote to Olymel last week, which says on-site testing suggests one in five workers may have been infected.

The letter also says about 60 per cent of Olymel staff hold at least one other job outside the plant and those other employers must be notified of positive cases.

Olymel has said it shut down the hog slaughtering, cutting and deboning plant because it believed it could no longer be operated safely and efficiently.

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