Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL)

Publisher:  Winston Gereluk, Edmonton, Canada
Year Published:  1978  
Resource Type:  Organization
Cx Number:  CX893

Abstract:  1. A Perspective on Labour's Role in Inflation with a Focus on the Food Industry: August 1978. The A.F.L. attempts to assess the role of labour in the rise of inflation. The brief asks seven questions, and through a look at statistics shows that labour is not totally at fault for high inflation.

To one of the questions "Aren't strikes and lock-outs crippling our economy?" the A.F.L. replies that there has been no major strike in the food industry since 1973 and yet prices continue to rise. To another question "In which sector has inflation been the greatest - in labour intensive or in capital-intensive industries?" the answer returns in the capital intensive ones.

The reply to "How much have labour costs contributed to increases in food prices?" is that in the food industry labour costs are substantially less than the cost of packaging.

2. Annual Cabinet Submission: November 1978. This is an "annual presentation to the Executive Council of the Government of Alberta". The major concern is the government's general policy and how this has affected labour relations in Alberta. The A.F.L. conclude that the government has not been concerned with promoting peaceful labour relations as evidenced in their permitting Canada Packers' lock-out of employees to last as long as Canada Packers wanted it to; and they propose that the government should make legislative steps to prevent strike-breaking at the instigation of the employers.

3. Balanced Growth Or? - Economic Indicators - Notes for the Conference on the Alberta Challenge: October 1978. These notes by Winston Gereluk are a plea for a "balance growth" economy, which is growth in which all aspects of social life develop together in planned, harmonious or orderly manners.

Such growth is not now occurring in Alberta for a number of reasons. A few of those reasons given are over-dependence on raw energy resources; massive unemployment; inequitable distribution of wealth; the fact that wages, prices and profits are not keeping pace with each other; and extreme fluctuations in supply and demand.

Noting that the main imbalances are economic, a number of proposals are made for moving towards a balanced-growth economy. First, an investment program launched to provide a path toward more economic diversity; second, economic trade-offs which should be made with eastern Canada; and finally, "any economic planning should be a grassroots, participatory process".

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