Tuesday, August 09, 2005


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