Alberta unions call for circuit-breaker measures as Omicron cases rise

Jan 12 2022, 4:43 pm

Leaders of Alberta’s largest union and labour organizations are calling on the province to enact circuit-breaker measures as Omicron cases swell.

Union leaders representing nearly 350,000 working Albertans in both the public and private sectors said in a joint statement that they’re making this call “reluctantly and with great frustration.”

“We have been left with no alternatives because the pandemic in Alberta is out of control; workplaces and schools are unsafe, and our health care system and our health care workers are already being overwhelmed,” the statement continued.

The circuit-breaker measures being proposed include prohibiting large gatherings, like concerts and sporting events; closing restaurants and bars to in-person dining; shutting down movie theatres and casinos; moving churches and other houses of worship online; moving all university and colleges classes online; closing gyms and suspending recreational sports; and, as a very last resort, moving all students in K-12 schools to online learning.

Unions also listed numerous things they would like to see the province do, including upgrading masks to respirators, reinstating “Test-Trace-Isolate,” and implementing paid sick leave for all.

“It’s too late to avoid the fifth wave, but it is not too late to save lives and protect our health care system and our economy,” added the unions.

Laine MitchellLaine Mitchell

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