NAFTA & Inter-American Trade Monitor
Produced by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
November 1, 1996
Volume 3, Number 21
U.S. and Canadian lawyers plan to use NAFTA's Tribunal on Labor Standards to challenge Alberta's decision to privatize enforcement of labor standards. The challenge is based on the theory that Alberta's action unfairly drives down its regulatory wage labor standards. The Alberta government will save an estimated $2 million by privatizing enforcement of minimum labor standards in areas such as pay, employment records, hours of work, vacation, and employment of children. Alberta's unionization rate is the lowest in Canada, with only one in four of the province's workers belonging to a labor union.
If the NAFTA tribunal finds that Alberta has violated NAFTA provisions, then it could order Alberta to pay a financial penalty, based on a percentage of its trade with the United States and Mexico.
Paul Weinbert, "Canada Faces Challenge Under NAFTA Labour Accord," INTERPRESS SERVICE, October 2, 1996;