Monday, November 21, 2005

Local 2300 receives first CMAW charter Nov. 16, 2005


from the left, holding charter is Paul Nedelec Jr., Business Agent Local 2300 -- Brian Zdrilic, Millwrights Local 2736 and first CMAW President -- Aaron Embree, President Local 2300 -- Len Embree, President BC Provincial Council of Carpenters -- Joe Heatherington, Recording Secretary Local 2300


Brian Zdrilic, Paul Nedelec Jr


Paul Wilkinson Vice-President Local 2300


Len Embree, Provincal Council President

click images (above) for full size photos
photos by dave "doc" livingston, local 2300

photo of doc (below) by paul wilkinson

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

CMAW WINS KEY CERTIFICATION DECISION

CMAW WINS KEY CERTIFICATION DECISION
The British Columbia Labour Relations Board has certified CMAW as the bargaining agent for workers at 115 work sites formerly represented by the BC Carpenters Union. CMAW was the union of choice for 90 per cent of those voting across the province.

CMAW is the Construction, Maintenance and Allied Workers, a joint bargaining council formed by the BC Carpenters and its affiliated local unions (Construction, Industrial, Millwrights, Schoolboards, Shipbuilders) and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP).

For the past ten years, BC carpenters have been engaged in a fight to win autonomy from the American-based United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.

CMAW President Brian Zdrilic said, 'We are extremely pleased that our members clearly demonstrated their desire for autonomy within a Canadian union. Our members have been pushing to put an end to control from Washington D.C. to ensure that decisions for Canadian workers will be made in Canada, not in the United States.'

However, BC Carpenters Union President Len Embree warned that the battle is not entirely over. 'In the midst of a successful and popular membership campaign, the International Union continues to act arbitrarily and without any membership support,' said Embree.

The Washington-based union has launched proceedings to place the BC Carpenters under trusteeship, which is viewed by Embree as, 'a last ditch effort to extract revenge and attempt to steal our members' assets. But these anti-union, anti-worker tactics will not stop us from becoming the new voice of solidarity in British Columbia. We have a strong mandate for autonomy and a dedicated membership who will settle for nothing less.'

For further information, contact:

Len Embree 604 437-0471
Brian Zdrilic 604 585-1736

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Union members choose CMAW

Union members choose CMAW
Support for Canadian Union Increases to 97%

BC Carpenters Union President Len Embree says Labour Board vote returns released this week show support for the union's Canadian Autonomy movement is increasing.

"Right now membership endorsement is 97 per cent." says Embree. "This is up from the 83 per cent support shown when our members voted to move their union from American to Canadian control in 2003."

"The BC membership has been striving for Canadian autonomy for decades," says Construction Maintenance and Allied Workers President Brian Zdrilic. "The latest votes clearly demonstrate the wishes of the members to transfer their bargaining rights to CMAW."

Zdrilic says he always believed the vote would be favourable. "However, we are ecstatic at the results. This clearly shows the ground swell for Canadian autonomy is membership driven. Members do not want to be controlled from Washington, DC," says Zdrilic who also represents Millwrights Local Union 2736.

Since last summer the BC Carpenters Union has been asking its members working for over 149 employers across BC to switch to the new CMAW union which is a joint bargaining council in partnership with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada. The applications are being opposed by some employers and the US head office in Washington, DC, as well as some other Building Trades unions.

"Canadian workers want control over their own union affairs," says Dave Coles, Vice President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union and partner with the BC Carpenters in CMAW. "This is no surprise to us; CEP was created by merging unions who had all left their international masters. These workers are simply continuing the struggle for independence."

The BC Union has been involved in a long struggle for autonomy from its US based parent organization, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, also referred to as the "International." The cross-border dispute has intensified over the past decade as the International has increasingly interfered with Canadian members' rights to elect their own officers and make autonomous policy decisions in the interests of Canadian workers.

The votes being counted so far are those of industrial shops, school board employees and All-Employee construction certifications only. The Labour Board has yet to order a count of the ballots cast by any of the craft certified members pending the outcome of a hearing which is expected sometime this summer.

The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union represents 162,000 members working from coast to coast, including 12,000 in British Columbia.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

New Union One Step Closer

Jamuary 29, 2005
CEP Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

The British Columbia Labour Relations Board has issued a decision that gives the green light to BC Carpenters long struggle for autonomy. The Board has ruled the carpenters can transfer their bargaining rights to a new bargaining council, established jointly with CEP.

“It is a big win for Canadian autonomy,” says Len Embree, President of the BC Provincial Council of Carpenters. “The Labour Board is allowing our members’ vote for freedom to be counted.”

The Construction, Maintenance and Allied Workers Union (CMAW) is now waiting for the Board to count the votes that are expected to confirm that the Council will be the bargaining agent of a large section of the carpenters’ members who work at industrial sites. Further decisions are also expected with respect to carpenters who work on construction sites.

“CMAW is the BC Council of Carpenters’ avenue to Canadian autonomy,” says Dave Coles, CEP Vice President, Western Region. “We are fighting side by side with Canadian workers for their right to run their union themselves and from within Canada.”
The LRB decision rules in favour of the BC Carpenters Union in their long struggle for autonomy from its US based parent organization, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBCJA). The cross-border dispute has intensified over the past decade as the UBCJA has increasingly interfered with Canadian members’ rights to elect their own officers and make autonomous policy decisions in the interests of Canadian workers.

“This ruling, which allows the BC Provincial Council of Carpenters to vary their certifications to the Construction, Maintenance and Allied Workers Union (CMAW), not only fortifies and preserves workers’ democratic rights, it brings Canadian Autonomy one step closer,” says Brian Zdrilic, President of CMAW.“It is an unprecedented opportunity for CMAW and its affiliates to expand their organizing efforts.

” Last year the BC Carpenters Union formed a new joint all-Canadian bargaining council in partnership with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP). The new CMAW bargaining council had applied to the LRB to certify more than 120 employers across the province. As part of the certification process members were asked, in a secret ballot vote conducted by the Ministry of Labour, whether they support their unions’ move to CMAW.