Sunday, January 28, 2007

Federal minister says Alberta should outsource work to other provinces

Labour boss wants our jobs - Calgary Sun, Canada
As a solution, the minister suggested the oil-rich province outsource projects to businesses elsewhere in the country.

As a solution, the minister suggested the oil-rich province outsource projects to businesses elsewhere in the country.

"In construction, you could help make houses in Saskatchewan or New Brunswick and send them to Alberta," he said.

"Any province could participate in that."

The annual meeting, attended by all provincial and territorial labour ministers, focused on the workplace safety of young people.

Blackburn, however, is accustomed to speaking on the nationwide concern of the worker exodus to Alberta.

"I said the same thing in Calgary," the minister said.

"I told the mayor of Calgary the solution to the Alberta labour shortage is not to send a plane to our areas, fill the plane with our people, and send them over to Alberta.

"Then we will have a shortage in our areas."

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Assume the position...

BC union leader arrested in US on drug charge - Vancouver Sun
Perley Edmund Holmes, business manager of Ironworkers Local 97 in Burnaby, faces drug and conspiracy charges after U.S. Border Patrol officers seized cocaine valued at more than $4 million US in eastern Washington last Thursday night.
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Drug cases sounds familiar - Western Standard- Shotgun Blog, Canada
Long-time followers of the news can be forgiven for thinking there was something familiar in the Vancouver Sun's report today that the business manager of Ironworkers Local 97 in Burnaby, B.C., is facing drug charges after the U.S. Border Patrol "seized cocaine valued at more than $4 million in eastern Washington" last week.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Labour wants respect from new Tory regime

The Edmonton Journal
'The labour shortage is clearly a big priority. But as of now, we don't see many signs that the Alberta government is following the right path. It looks like they will continue to stand on the sidelines and just cheer for business. They aren't acknowledging the role that the provincial government had in creating the problem. First, they are keeping the royalty rates so low that it's just Halloween candy for the industry. Secondly, they have chronically underfunded trades education. They have reaped what they sowed.'

And their solution?

'Well, it's been to bring in temporary foreign workers as fast as possible. Industry sees first- or second-year (Canadian) apprentices as a problem, an impediment. They want to (go abroad) and hire experienced journeymen -- as carpenters, electricians, boilermakers and so on. This is not to (denigrate) immigrants -- most of us come from the heritage of other countries. But if these people are good enough to serve us in a pinch, they are good enough to stay as citizens. This has become the Wild West, with few rules and no enforcement of the ones we have.'

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

big bucks in the office, job cuts in the mill - same old crap, different year

Catalyst CEO, CFO resign, clearing the way for hedge fund to gain more control
Under the terms of the control change agreement, Horner and Leverton are entitled to receive payments totalling $4.8 million and $1.6 million, respectively.
'I think they saw the writing on the wall with Third Avenue, and they expected Third Avenue to replace the executive team,' said Paul Quinn, an analyst with Salman Partners.

'Under their contract, they have a very good exit strategy for both the CEO and the CFO, so they walk away with lots of money.'

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That plan will likely include job cuts, although those aren't likely until 2008 because of labour contracts currently in place, Quinn added.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Alberta: Labour Camp expected in ’07

Mayerthorpe Freelancer, Mayerthorpe, AB
I think there is a misunderstanding as to what [the labor camp] is and what it will bring to our community,’ he said. “There is a huge labor shortage in this area and you can bring people in but then there is no place for them to live.”

Not that Wiseman is exempted from the housing or labor shortage in this project. Finding units to use in the Mayerthorpe project is proving to be an issue after he used his acquired units for the Blue Ridge project.

“It’s the chicken or the egg,” he said. “Find the units, find the workers.’

Not that Wiseman is the one who has found the workers for the camps; he has a specialized agent working with him in the Philippines to recruit based on their employer’s specific needs. Some must haves for the Canadian government are a clean criminal record, bill of health and proven skills.