The United Farm Workers (UVWA) has played a major role in the agricultural industry of Alberta for a century. In recent times the union has been closely linked to the controversial bill that would regulate online gambling in Alberta. House Bill 1591, the proposed legislation, has been criticized by many Albertans. The bill’s supporters argue that it is essential to protect Alberta gambling sites from unjust interference from the existing online gambling industry. Opponents argue that the bill gives an excessive amount of control over the private and personal lives of Albertans. Both sides have strengths, but which side should be believed?
The United Farm Workers of America (UVWA) was founded in 1935 to improve the working conditions of farm workers in areas of the country most affected by the Second World War. By coordinating efforts between the labor unions and farming communities, the UVWA has been able to create an influential and visible lobbying group and to increase membership. The current United Farm Workers of America (UVWA) is currently has 14 bargaining units which each represent a local farmer, is represented on the Bargaining Committee of National Union of Farmworkers. At present, the union has four bargaining units. The units are: The Northwest; Central; Southwest and Central Texas.
The UFA’s roots can be traced back to the time the Canadian government launched plans to regulate gambling and agriculture in Alberta. The Agricultural Employees Commission of Canada (AFC) was established to oversee the activities of Alberta government and the ranchers in particular. An amendment was introduced by the then premier Peter MacPherson to this plan which allowed employers to select their own bargaining agents, including both farmers and tradesmen. The Farmers Union of Alberta was at the time called the Agrarian Union. ีดฟิำะ It was founded by strikers from farmers.
Farmer-rights activists were behind the decision, since they believed that workers in the agricultural sector were being paid unfair wages. Farmers began to insist on better wages and working conditions after the UFA was created. In response, former Alberta premier John Diefenbaker reassured the farmers that the province would not interfere in the working relations between employees and employers. The premier also said he would select an “iculticer” to mediate any labor disputes that may arise.
Farmers were able to negotiate higher wages, but the ALR demanded that a clause be added to the UFA that placed the interests of the employer over those of the workers. The ALR’s proposed amendments to the UFA included provisions that said employers must not discriminate in the hiring or promoting employees, or in the treatment of employees due to race, gender or age, religion, colour or sexual orientation. ALR also suggested language to permit employers to pay employees for social expenses, such as housing, childcare and health care. These changes were not accepted by the Edmonton provincial election in January 1924.
An Alberta farmer-rights lobby group was then set to ensure that farmers were not the only affected by the legislation proposed. As part of this lobby group an elected MLA from Edmonton was elected to the provincial legislature. The Farmer MLA’s Association opposed the UFA changes. They claimed that it was a part of the plan to replace the UFA with the system of theneau that they claimed caused unfair treatment for farmers. This idea was associated with the Social Credit Act, which replaced the Income Tax with a tax on corporate and individual income in the first half century.
By the time of the 1923 provincial election, the Farmers Union of Alberta had transformed into a powerful lobbying group called the Ginger Group. The concept behind the Ginger Group was to get rid of the UFA. They hoped that by appointing an Edmonton MLA, they could influence the PCs to eliminate the UFA and also elect an independent member of parliament who would back their plans to end the UFA completely. The PCs lost the election however, not before the premier who took over all UFA’s power. He allowed the UFA’s operation to continue until a new policy regarding rights to collective bargaining for agricultural workers was enacted.
Twenty years after the dissolution of the Farmers’ Union of Alberta, the ginger association is in turmoil. The federal government has reneged on its promise to abolish the UFA and it appears that there is likely to be no chance of the Alberta government reversing the federal government’s plan to establish a new method of setting royalty rates in Alberta. The Progressive Party of Alberta now is a minority in the House of Commons. It is unlikely that there is an election before the spring of next year.