BC carpenters separate from international union - CEP news release
VANCOUVER, Nov. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - A decade long struggle by BC carpenters to break from their international union and establish a Canadian construction union has been won.
5,000 members of the Construction, Maintenance and Allied Workers Union, representing the great majority of unionized carpenters in B.C., have voted by a margin of 76% to approve the terms of a BC Labour Board report on terms of separation with the Washington based United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners.
CMAW also represents industrial shop workers and shipyard workers in the Lower Mainland and school board workers in the BC interior, and it is affiliated with the 150,000 member Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.
"This brings a long struggle for Canadian unionism in construction to a conclusion," said Jan Noster, President of the CMAW. "We have gained our freedom at great cost, but it is absolutely worth it to have a democratic union in our own hands. Construction workers need a Canadian union on an industrial model, and now they have CMAW as that union. We are celebrating today, but tomorrow we will be organizing."
"This settlement is historic for Canadian construction workers," said Dave Coles, national President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada. "BC carpenters as of today are a Canadian union with a model of all-employee organizing that we believe is the way of the future for workers in the Canadian construction industry."
"Now we can turn our attention to building our Canadian union," said outgoing president of the BC Provincial Council of Carpenters, Tony Heisterkamp.
The BCLRB recommendations that allow CMAW members to break their ties with the international union require the BC carpenters to pay the UBCJ $6 million. Both CMAW and UBCJ will have the right to represent carpenters in BC, although over 95% of carpenter certifications in BC are held by CMAW.
For further information: Dave Coles, (613) 299-5628