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UFCW Canada Local Unions 1118 and 401 had a strong voice at the centennial celebration of the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) held recently in Edmonton, Alberta. The week of meetings, workshops, film screenings, and an open convention concluded on June 16, with a Banner Parade and other celebrations at Fort Edmonton Park which drew over 700 union and labour activists from across Alberta.
In the lead up to the weekend celebration, a UFCW Canada Local 1118 delegation also participated in an Alberta Labour History Institute Conference. The delegation included Local 1118 President Albert Johnson; Local 1118 member Oscar Lopez from Olymel; Local 1118 member Eduardo Basa from Cargill Foods; and retired member Vicky Beauchamp — all sharing personal stories of past and present labour struggles and victories. "The history of the Alberta labour movement is long and proud," said Brother Johnson to gathering ," and all at the conference can hold their heads up high for the struggles won to make Alberta a better place for all to work and live."
Local 1118 and Local 401 were also well represented at the weekend celebration and the Banner Parade. Hundreds of parade participants wore CLAC Sucks t-shirts distributed by Local 401 as part of a province-wide public awareness campaign to counter CLAC: accused of being an anti-union, pro-employer organization that was found by the Alberta Labour Relations Board to be "a willing participant” in an employer’s strategy to eliminate opportunities for trade unions to organize workers. It was an enthusiastically received reminder that a century after the founding of the AFL, the need to stand together to protect the rights of Alberta workers is as important as ever — and that Alberta's labour movement and the AFL are ready and confident.
"The turnout and energy at the AFL centennial was a fantastic show of solidarity," says UFCW Canada Local 401 President Doug O'Halloran, "and a great celebration of the hard work that trade unionists are doing today, and over the last hundred years, to improve the lives of working people across the province of Alberta."