Stop the Squeeze: Just How Bad is Cost-of-Living Anxiety in Alberta?

We know there’s a lot of anxiety in Alberta about the cost of living. But just how bad is it?

A recent survey completed on behalf of the Alberta Federation of Labour in April showed some astonishing findings. Those findings support poll responses gathered during UFCW 401’s own recent Telephone Town Hall meeting on the affordability crisis.

Is There a Cost-of-Living Crisis?

During our April 17 General Membership Town Hall meeting, 96% of attendees said that there is in fact an affordability crisis.

Alberta Federation of Labour President Gil McGowan joins UFCW 401’s President Thomas Hesse and Secretary Treasurer Richelle Stewart in answering questions about the affordability crisis.

Almost six out of ten among the AFL survey’s respondents (58%) say their standard of living has fallen over the past two years. Three-quarters of respondents (74%) report being either “worried” or “extremely worried” about the rising cost of living.

Just How Much Are People Struggling?

87% of the audience at our General Membership Town Hall reported having significant challenges in making ends meet from week to week. Additionally, 60% of Town Hall attendees indicated they thought a wage increase of 10% or more would be reasonable in helping them to make ends meet and pay their bills.

UFCW 401’s President Hesse and Treasurer Stewart respond to a member’s question during the Telephone Town Hall.

Of those responding to the AFL’s survey, nearly seven in ten (67%) of self-described middle-class Albertans describe themselves as somewhat-to-very-worried that the affordability crisis will drive them out of the middle class.

Among working-class Albertans, who are 35% of the province’s population, the anxiety is even worse. More than nine in ten of self-described working-class respondents (93%) said they are somewhat-to-very-worried that the cost-of-living crisis will stop them from ever entering the middle class.

The Alberta Federation of Labour and UFCW Local 401 are working together to fight back against these trends,” said Secretary Treasurer Richelle Stewart. “We know our members and all Albertans need meaningful action on the affordability crisis!”

The AFL’s Alberta Deserves a Raise campaign and your union’s Stop the Squeeze campaign are major province-wide initiatives focused on pressuring governments and companies to do the right thing and make life more affordable for working Albertans.

“We’re pushing government to reduce the cost of things like groceries, rent, utilities, and insurance and demanding that every single employer we deal with give their employees a raise so that they can pay their bills,” added President Thomas Hesse.

Join our Stop the Squeeze campaign by clicking here to sign up!