CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Hundreds of Albertans rallied in front of hospitals and health care units Thursday to show support for the province’s frontline workers.
Several union groups including the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL), the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) are hosting the rallies in front of Calgary’s Foothills Hospital and the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton.
The suns not up yet, but already this crowd is rallying outside the Royal Alexandra Hospital to thank the healthcare workers who took part in a wildcat strike last week protesting government action #yeg #abpoli pic.twitter.com/G0bxL6vbL0
— Carly Robinson (@CarlyDRobinson) November 5, 2020
About 100 Albertans got up early to fight for public health care and the jobs of front-line #AUPE members. Thanks for the #solidarity. Stay tuned for more rallies today. #abhealth pic.twitter.com/KoJN9eMOZd
— AUPE (@_AUPE_) November 5, 2020
Another rally also took place later in the day near the Sheldon Chumir health centre.
— Saif Kaisar (@StaySaif) November 5, 2020
President of the AFL, Gil McGowan said these rallies show frontline workers they’re not alone.
“At the end of the day, people do have to stand up at some point. I think more and more people are recognizing that fact. We’re organizing these events to basically show our support, our solidarity and also to thank these workers for the work they do every day.”
Last week, hundreds of hospital workers with the AUPE staged wildcat strikes in protest over the Alberta government’s plan to cut 11,000 jobs with Alberta Health Services in favour of private companies.
“Last week many of those workers engaged in a wildcat strike, they walked off the job to protest the plan to cut their jobs and privatize health care,” said McGowan.
The workers were eventually forced back after the UCP government decried the move as “illegal” and asked the Labour Relations Board to intervene.
McGowan has warned more strikes are possible if the Kenney government does not reverse the cuts and listen to frontline workers.