kenney-oilandgas-workers_thumb
kenney-oilandgas-workers_thumb This article is more than 2 years old
Analysis

Jason Kenney’s Plan to Cut Overtime Pay Would Drive Down Wages for Alberta’s Oil and Gas Workers

Alberta’s oil and gas workers would be hardest hit by Jason Kenney’s overtime pay cut

Jason Kenney likes to use oil and gas workers as props for campaign photos, but his plan to gut Alberta’s labour policies would actually take the most money out of the pockets of workers in Alberta’s resources sector.

Kenney’s plan to help corporations and Alberta’s wealthy elites will come at the cost of Alberta’s workers — like a tiered minimum wage, weaker labour laws and a deep cut in overtime pay.

The province’s current labour laws, mandate employers pay workers time-and-a-half for overtime — 1.5 times the regular wage-rate for hours worked over 8 hours per day, or 44 weekly. 

As part of its platform, Kenney’s UCP promised to cut requirements employers pay more for banked overtime hours — amounting to a 33.3% pay cut.

Ironically, the hardest hit by Kenneys plan will be Albertas oil and gas workers.

“For many workers, overtime is a significant part of their salary, especially if you work in an industry that’s seasonal or frequently has busy and slow periods, like many tradespeople in Alberta right now,” CUPE economist Angella McEwan told PressProgress 

ATB Financial

According to ATB Financial’s most-recent figures, not only did resource workers put in the longest hours, averaging 43.7 per week, they put in the most overtime, at 6.5 hours per week.  That’s far higher than the 1.4 hour overtime, ATB Financial noted, “partly explaining why their paycheques are so much larger than average.”

Meanwhile retail, accommodation and food service workers — those Kenney says will be most helped — cost employers the least in overtime pay. 

Retail and accommodation and food workers worked 26.3 and 23.4 hours per week, respectively, in Nov. 2018.  ATB noted that’s a “a reflection of the predominance of part-time workers in these sectors.”

Still, Kenney’s plan would cost already-vulnerable low-wage workers between $220 and $328 per month.

NextAlberta said of the proposed cut “the UCP wants to help employers suppress the wages of oil and gas and construction workers.”

“If you work in these sectors — especially if you don’t have a union to protect you — Kenney and the UCP are coming for you.”

 

Help us protect Canadians by holding the powerful accountable.

Journalism is an important public service. That’s why PressProgress is prioritizing stories aimed at keeping Canadians safe and holding the powerful accountable during the coronavirus pandemic.

Please consider supporting our award-winning non-profit news organization so we can keep making a positive impact for Canadians.

 

Support Our Journalism
PressProgress
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2021-06-022 News

Doug Ford’s Government Cut Education By More Than Half a Billion Dollars, New Report Finds

Related Stories

Analysis

Why No One Knows How Many Children Died Inside Canada’s Residential Schools

View the post
Analysis

The Fraser Institute Claims Canada is Delaying ‘Life-Saving Drugs’. Their Own Report Shows Big Pharma Is To Blame.

View the post
Analysis

Real Estate Developers and Construction Executives Top List of Donors to Brian Pallister’s Manitoba PCs in 2020

View the post

Explainers

Power and democracy

Andrea Reimer

Why Canadian Politics Does Such a Bad Job at Reflecting Working Class Values

View the post
Politics & strategy

Tom Parkin

Why Jason Kenney is Playing Politics with the Horrific Legacy of Canada’s Residential Schools

View the post
Work & rights

Liz Walker and Shanice Regis-Wilkins

Here is What Everyone in Canada Needs To Know About How Collective Bargaining Really Works

View the post