Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Question for Carpenters UBC President Douglas J. McCarron

YouTube video
"Will the rank and file be able to get their vote back anytime?"

Saturday, December 29, 2007

British Columbia Construction Association plans another recruitment trip to Germany – Journal of Commerce

article: Journal of Commerce
As of October 2007, Brodersen has help bring 112 skilled workers to B.C. under a program called EU-Step. Most of these workers are carpenters, roofers, bricklayers, ironworkers, glaziers and electricians. About one-third of these workers gain their permanent residency, under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

CMAW: Winter 2007 newsletter

now online in pdf format
Read the newsletter for articles in the press about CMAW's break from the international, a report from the 1st Annual CMAW Convention, and to find out the new name for the newsletter.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Government foreign worker office long overdue - but still misses the point

ALBERTA FEDERATION OF LABOUR press release
The Alberta Federation of Labour reacted with guarded optimism to the Government's new measures announced today to protect temporary foreign workers.

The two special advisory offices for temporary foreign workers are a welcome - if long overdue - measure,' says AFL President Gil McGowan. 'The AFL had set up its own temporary foreign workers' advocate office last spring as a result of seeing a desperate need for such a measure.'

Alberta opens two advisory offices to help foreign workers

read full article: Journal of Commerce
The first advisory offices for temporary foreign workers in Canada are being established to help ensure vulnerable workers are treated fairly.

The Alberta Government announced on Dec. 10 that two workers advisory offices have opened in Edmonton and Calgary at a cost of $1 million a year.

The offices, which are the first of their kind in Canada, will provide access to information and services for temporary foreign workers.

Investigations of complaints and inspections will be carried out by eight experienced employment standards officers.

They will help resolve employment standards or occupational health and safety issues.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Nails in Their Stockings

Nails in Their Stockings - by Tom Robbins, The Village Voice
"Nobody knows what the hell is going on," griped a veteran carpenter who called this newspaper in a vain attempt to find something out.

A couple of phone calls quickly established that yes, the city's carpenters union was again embroiled in a corruption scandal, and yes, the parent union had stepped in, and yes, heads had already rolled.

You'd think that in the age of computers and mobile phones (which I can confirm are possessed by the vast majority of the city's rank-and-file carpenters), the details of this coup would have already been shared with the membership. But here it is, three weeks later, and the key information has yet to be imparted by the New York City District Council of Carpenters to these hardworking New Yorkers.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Staggering dollar figures attached to Alberta projects

article: The Edmonton Journal
Put simply, Alberta's chronic worker shortage, which is already creating a logistical nightmare for major energy firms, is only getting worse. And unless it's resolved, some big projects will get deferred well into the future, or may be shelved altogether.

In other words, that $237-billion figure may be a giant mirage, and many people outside Alberta's energy sector say that wouldn't be so bad.

"We don't even have enough workers to build what we're building now," says Holmes.

Yes, Alberta continues to lead the nation in population growth, thanks largely to still-hefty inter-provincial migration numbers and a growing share of immigration from other countries.
During the 12 months ended June 30, for instance, more than 50,000 people from other provinces moved to Alberta. B.C. was a distant second, with a little over 10,000 people relocating there.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Construction industry refutes labour federation’s report critical of Temporary Foreign Worker Program – Daily Commercial News

read article: Daily Commercial News
A government program to lure foreign workers to Alberta to fill a huge job vacuum has turned into a vehicle for broken promises, shady operators and illegal kickbacks, says a union report.

More than 25,000 workers have already arrived in Alberta from dozens of countries, including the Philippines, India, Poland, Ukraine and China. Some are working at fast-food restaurants, while others are trades people or labourers working on construction projects.

The Alberta Federation of Labour report says many of those recruited under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program are being mistreated.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

CMAW Carpenters Good, UBCJA Carpenters Bad, according to Peter Kiewit

One of the world’s largest construction companies has complained that they can’t get qualified carpenters dispatched from the UBCJA local to work on the Revelstoke Dam.

Peter Kiewit Sons has written to the Labour Relations Board saying they know that the qualified carpenters they need are members of CMAW. Peter Kiewit’s lawyers have asked for intervenor status at a board hearing set for Dec. 11 in an attempt to get the qualified CMAW carpenters they need.