Sunday, April 29, 2007

Day of mourning for 160 killed on B.C. jobsites

By Fiona Anderson, Vancouver Sun
Jan Noster, president of the Construction Maintenance and Allied Workers Union, a B.C.-based independent construction union, believes better education and enforcement are the keys to lowering on-the-job accidents.

Education is especially important.'We have a lot of young first-time, inexperienced workers,' Noster said. 'And I don't think we are doing enough to make sure those guys are going home safe every night.

''While employers are certainly doing a better job of ensuring a safe workplace, there still are rogue employers out there that take chances every day,' he added. 'Everyone deserves to make it home at the end of the day safe.'

Thursday, April 26, 2007

CMAW Executive Board Announcement

To All CMAW Local Unions for immediate release
On April 24, 2007, the CMAW Executive Board unanimously ratified a motion approving the replacement CMAW Constitution. 'This task has not been an easy one', says Jan Noster, CMAW President.

'The existing Constitution required unanimous support from all 16 members of the Executive Board, and to achieve unanimity is a feat in itself. We are confident that this democratic and transparent Constitution will be accepted by our members so that we can all join together in taking the next steps of building this Union with a Canadian-made Constitution', Noster said.

The replacement Constitution will now be mailed out to the entire CMAW membership and members will be asked to review the Constitution and mail in their ballots. Your Executive Board member will be calling for a Local Union meeting in your area to discuss the Constitution prior to the deadline of your ballot return date.

Once the ballots are counted, by an independent body, and the members have approved it, notice will be sent out calling for a CMAW Convention.

Worker's Day of Mourning - Day of Mourning
Remembering the 160 B.C. workers who lost their lives to workplace injury and disease in 2006

This year, because the Day of Mourning falls on a Saturday, WorkSafeBC will hold its ceremony on Friday, April 27. The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. at the Workers' Memorial in Vancouver's Hastings Park. Families, workers, employers, and other interested parties are invited to attend.

For US events, check out the AFL-CIO's website and for worldwide events, the place to go (as usual) is Hazards which has a particularly informative website this year. Check it out.

AFL-CIO Death on the Job Report

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Workers have beef over beef

By BROOKES MERRITT, Edmonton Sun, Canada
They've got a beef.

Unionized carpenters at the Albion oilsands site near Fort McMurray are demanding a health inspection following allegations that steaks were delivered to their camp in the back of a filthy pickup truck, unrefrigerated and covered in dirt.

The union called for a boycott yesterday after a cook claimed that 120 steaks were driven to the site on uncovered baking sheets in the open bed of a pickup truck.


"It was disgusting. They were covered in sand and dirt and had been exposed to the dirty air up here," said Michel Marchand, a 19-year-old kitchen staffer hired only one week ago by ESS On-Site Camp Services, which runs the kitchen. He said he unloaded the bare steaks from the back of a pickup truck normally used to haul garbage.

Marchand said the steaks would have been served yesterday if he hadn't brought the issue to the construction site's top boss, Harry Ophof of ATCO. ATCO is overseeing the construction of the Jackpine Mine Village work camp.

Marchand approached Leonard Misener, president of the local United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America union -which employs about 60 workers at site.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Presidents Message - CMAW Local 1995 newsletter, April 2007


CMAW Local Union 1995 has negotiated a dispatching Central Dispatch System agreement for western Canada with the CEP locals 470 (Vancouver Island) and Local 777 Construction (Alberta)

We will be responsible for dispatching to jobs throughout western Canada to signatory contractors that have signed with CMAW and CEP Construction through this newly established Central Dispatch system.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Union officials "condone and endorse" attacks on member's internet free speech

click for full text: Union Democracy Review
Since the first member forum caught their attention, some union leaders have tried to put a lid on member free speech online. They haven't had much success. Internet free speech has spread like a weed, with independent member-run websites, blogs, and forums popping up in all the unions. Many union leaders probably share the frustration expressed by IBEW International Vice President Phil Flemming, 'while we do not condone or endorse the use of independently operated places for members to express their opinions, there is little we can do to stop them.'

Friday, April 13, 2007


download the CEP .pdf
The largest organizing campaign in the history of CEP’s Western Region is underway and our target is the construction industry. Our goal is to become a dominant player in construction by implementing a new approach to union organizing.

Our efforts are underway and have already produced results. CEP has a major role in the construction of the Horizon oil sands project in Alberta.
! Horizon is an $11 billion dollar development being constructed by Canadian Natural Resources Limited in the tar sands region near Fort McMurray.
! CEP has signed a contract covering up to 700 workers in all trades who will build the extractor component at the megaproject.
! CEP has recently brokered a deal with Horizon and the Quebec labour federation’s construction wing (FTQ) that will see hundreds of Quebec tradespeople hired on for the project.
! By organizing workers during the project’s construction phase, CEP is better positioned to organize plant workers when Horizon goes into operation. We currently represent about two thousand workers at the Suncor oil sands plant north of Fort McMurray.
! In addition, Edmonton-based CEP Local 777 has organized upgrading and maintenance workers with JVD Mill Services and other oil sands project work.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Carpenters return to work after big win

Daily Commercial News
Twenty carpenters from Tower Scaffold of Toronto are on a permanent “high” after winning $19.3 million in April 4’s Lotto 6/49 draw.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Millwright ballot asks members to put UBCJA back on dance card

click to download the letter in PDF format:
March 28th 2007 Letter to All Members
Local 2736, Surrey BC
"As our affiliation with CMAW was revoked, the Executive Board of Millwrights' Local 2736 has re-evaluated our position regarding our present status with the International. Through dialogue with the International an agreement to recognize our distinctivenes in the restructuring process has been reached and in turn has alleviated the concerns that forced us to leave the organization originally.

The Executive Board unanimously endorses the AGREEMENT. They also feel that the final approval of re-affiliation should be left to the membership to decide.

Therefore, please fill out the ballot as per instructions

Sincerely Yours, Brian Zdrillic, Business Manager"

Friday, April 06, 2007

Carpenters nail $20M 6/49 prize
The group, members of the Carpenters Local 18 in Hamilton, were assigned to work for Tower Scaffold of Nanticoke. The crew will be back at the electrical generating station there this morning, Rawlings said.

'It's a big relief to know you can now financially control your destiny for the time you're on this earth anyway,' he said.