A Historical Perspective of the Farmers Union of Alberta

The United Farm Workers (UVWA) has played an important part in the agricultural sector of Alberta for more than a century. The union has been closely connected with a controversial bill designed to regulate internet gambling in Alberta. The legislation House Bill 1591 has caused outrage among many Albertans. Proponents claim that the bill is necessary to protect the gambling establishments of Alberta from unfair competition from the existing online gambling industry in the United States. Opponents say that the bill will give unjustified control over the private and personal lives of Albertans. Both sides have strengths, but which should be believed?


The United Farm Workers of America (UVWA) was founded in 1935 in order to improve the working conditions of farm workers in the areas of the country most affected by the Second World War. The UVWA is a visible lobbying organization that coordinates efforts between labor unions and farming communities. It is also able to increase its membership by increasing its membership. The United Farm Workers of America (UVWA) has 14 bargaining units, each of which represents a local farmer and is represented on the Bargaining Committee of the National Union of Farmworkers. At present, the union has four bargaining units. The units are: The Northwest, Central, Southwest, and Central Texas.

The genesis of the UFA can be traced to the times when the Canadian government formulated plans to establish an unregulated system of farming and gambling in Alberta. The Agricultural Employees Commission of Canada (AFC) was created to oversee the activities of the Alberta government and the ranchers in particular. Peter MacPherson, the former premier, modified the plan to allow employers to choose their own bargaining agents, including tradesmen and farmers. The Farmers’ Union of Alberta was at one time known as the Agrarian Union. It was formed by strikers from farmers.

Farmer-rights activists backed this decision because they believed that farmers were receiving unfair wages. Farmers began to insist on better wages and working conditions after the UFA was created. John Diefenbaker, then the premier of Alberta, assured the farmers that the province would not interfere with the work relations between employers and employees. The premier also said he would designate an “iculticer” to mediate any labor disputes that arose.

Farmers were able to negotiate higher wages, but the ALR insists that a section be added that would place the employer’s interests above the workers. The ALR’s proposed amendments to the UFA included stipulations that an Employer shall not discriminate in the selection or promotion of employees or in the treatment of employees on grounds of race, gender, age, religion, colour or sexual orientation. The ALR also sought to include clauses that would allow employers to pay employees for their social expenses including housing healthcare, childcare, and other expenses. These changes were not approved by the Edmonton provincial election in January 1924.

An Alberta farmer-rights lobby group was then set to ensure that farmers were not the only victimized by the legislation proposed. As part of this lobby group, an elected MLA from Edmonton was elected to the provincial legislature. The Farmer MLA’s Association opposed the changes to the UFA. They claimed that it was a part of the plan to replace the UFA with theneau system, which they said caused unfair treatment for farmers. During the first half of the twenty-first century, this concept was connected to the Social Credit Act (which replaced the former Income Tax with a tax on personal and corporate income).

The Farmers’ Union of Alberta was transformed into a powerful lobbying organization known as the Ginger Group, by the time of the 1923 provincial elections. The idea behind the Ginger Group was to get rid of the UFA. They hoped that by appointing an MLA from Edmonton they could pressure the ruling PCs to abolish the UFA and to elect an independent MLA who would be in favor of their plans to eliminate the UFA completely. The PCs were defeated in the election, but not before the premier removed the powers of the UFA. He let the association continue to function until a new rule regarding the rights of farmers to collective bargaining was enacted.

The ginger group is in turmoil right now nearly 20 years after the dissolution by the Farmers Union. The federal government has abandoned its pledge to abolish the UFA. It seems that the Alberta government will not be able to reverse the federal government’s plan to create a new way to set royalty rates in Alberta. The Progressive Party of Alberta now enjoys a minority government in the House of Commons. It is highly unlikely that there will be an election prior to spring next years. ufabet24

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