Fire the worker, get the union: interview with Calgary Hilton worker Aaron Doncaster

On April 20, 2018, something happened in Alberta that hadn’t happened in over 30 years. Automatic certification of a union if it is found that the employer’s anti union activity destroyed a union drive.

This happened at the Hilton Hotel in Downtown Calgary, where the workers are now unionized through the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 401.

This unionization was the result, ironically, of the firing of union organizer Aaron Doncaster.

In 2017, the Alberta Government enacted the Fair and Family-Friendly Workplace Act, which among other things, restored powers to the Alberta Labour Relations Board that allowed for remedial certification. In other words, employers who break the law in organizing situations could run the risk of unionization as a remedy for those illegal actions.

I spoke to Aaron on April 27. We spoke about how the unionization effort started, how he got fired, the ruling of the labour board and what it all means for working people in Alberta.