Thursday, June 20, 2024
Guest ContributionsOpinion/Column

Union which did nothing to protect pro-choice workers during COVID now calls them “scabs”

Alberta’s Danielle Smith is the first Canadian premier to take a public stand against the COVID narrative that has hurt so many. Photo: Facebook

by David Anderson

With every week that goes by, more and more information is released showing the ineffectiveness of the COVID jab. The rationale used to force it upon believing Canadians has been unproven; the federal government even publicly stated they had no basis in any documented need, or science for the travel ban mandate.

With the Atlantic’s recent groveling article calling for Pandemic Amnesty, you’d think that perhaps a grass-roots provincial union leader would echo the olive branch request; but, no. 

Mr. Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) instead took the sanctimonious high ground and attacked Alberta Premier Danielle Smith. 

Since taking office on October 11, 2022, Premier Smith has been a vocal proponent for the right of medical autonomy regarding covid-19 vaccinations. 

She has openly apologized for the mandates imposed upon all Albertans, going so far as to propose changes to the Charter to ensure similar actions would never again be implemented. Kudos Premier! Smith is the first Canadian premier to take a public stand against a narrative that has hurt so many.

The breath of fresh air brought by Premier Smith is sorely needed. The Canadian culture is tired. It has been inundated on all sides from those wielding power. A one-size-fits-all response was the only offering. It has now been proven statistically, to be a minuscule shadow of the “stop the world, we’re all going to die” response Canadians are now brow beaten into.

Unfortunately,  McGowan responded to Premier Smith’s welcome words with an ugly rebuke.

 After Premier Smith’s comments regarding the return to work for federal employees placed on administrative leave due to their choice to maintain their privacy and bodily autonomy, Mr. McGowan released a Twitter tirade accusing the Premier of “siding with scabs.”

A two-pronged attack on the Premier and on those who herald choice as one of the cornerstones of a free society was unleashed by his ugly comments. Apparently, if you didn’t acquiesce to Mr. McGowan’s belief in the efficacy and need of forced medical treatments, you were essentially a “scab,” a strike breaker.

What? Some serious mental acrobatics are needed to square that circle.

Really, Mr. McGowan? Did that feel good? Bigger man now, are you?

The Alberta Federation of Labour states they are: “active on a wide range of broader social issues — such as human rights”. Given the president’s public comments appearing to demonize the protected choice workers in Alberta have, it begs the question: of which side of human rights are you active?

It sure appears that Mr. Gowan, on behalf of all trade union leadership, is on the side of restricting and even removing the basic human right to choose.

The body of the AFL’s constitution states further:

“The Alberta Federation of Labour is dedicated to the proposition that Albertans, as workers, are entitled to jobs, to fair and adequate wages, to union representation, to free collective bargaining and the right to strike; and that, as members of society, they are entitled to basic human rights, to political freedom, to social security, to good government, to a safe and healthful environment, to a just and equitable society, and to a peaceful world.”

AFL enshrined “basic human right” of choice. Hello?

“In the carrying out of their mandate, the Officers, staff and members of the Executive Committee and of the Executive Council, will at all times be respectful of each others opinions and of the integrity of all affiliates, and in all matters operate on the basis of trade union principles.”

Being called a “scab” for taking personal responsibility regarding the contents of my body, sure, sounds disrespectful to me.

“In all its endeavours, the Federation shall foster and defend the principles of democracy, and hold true to the ideals of social, economic and political justice on which the labour movement was founded.”

Perhaps clarification of democracy is needed; hurling abuse for the democratic right of choice is soft totalitarianism.

The president of the Alberta Federation of Labour’s job description includes the following:

“The President shall exercise supervision over the affairs of the Federation, act as chief spokesperson. The President shall be responsible for all public relations with outside organizations…”

The actions of the AFL’s president are in sharp contrast to the altruistic language of the AFL’s constitution’s preamble. But let’s not forget, a trade union is every bit as much a political endeavor and any political party. They are structurally cut from the same cloth.

Could this mean the AFL, all it represents, and in particular its current president Mr. Gowan has another agenda for his demeaning comments?

What could that agenda be? During the course of “the COVID pandemic,” Labour Unions proved themselves to be government shills and corporate lackies. Lip service like the AFL’s preamble sounds impressive. However, in practice they were a paper tiger, the proverbial go-along-to-get-along, protect-my-pension hucksterism perpetrated by corporations and government alike.

My fear is that the brash truth and acknowledged harm Premier Danielle Smith has so bravely espoused will not go unpunished. Deviation from the monotheistic cult of control is not permitted. The cult will not permit any leadership emboldening the populous as Premier Danielle Smith has. 

Perhaps Mr. McGowan knows this too. Perhaps he is looking to make a name for himself, with those that would relish the demise of Alberta’s first conservative female premier. A keen eye should be focused on the musings of the NDP in Alberta and where Mr. McGowan lands within them.

For any in the labour movement who would disagree with Mr. McGowan, your chance to say so is now. This man is paid to be your representative mouthpiece. Your silence incriminates you as much as him.


David Anderson has worked as a Truck Driver, Chef, Pastor, Counsellor, and in Program Development in the recovery community. Now he works to improve the quality of life through truth; he provides education and skills training in common sense, personal responsibility, quality decision-making skills and emotional management. David hopes Canada returns to sanity before the pending economic truth causes BC to be sold to China to cover the foreign-owned debt.

Read David Anderson’s previous columns on Labour in Canada here.