Thursday, June 19, 2008

Union argues new laws prevent anyone from striking

article by Angela Hall, Regina Leader-Post via IBEW 2067 blog
A national union is lodging a formal complaint about Saskatchewan's new labour legislation with a specialized agency of the United Nations, alleging two new provincial laws violate workers' rights.

The announcement Thursday by the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is the latest volley in the controversy over the laws passed in May, which have been criticized by organized labour and generally welcomed by business associations.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Marking 50th anniversary of B.C.'s worst workplace event

article: The Province
The Ironworkers Memorial Bridge will be the scene of a ceremony tomorrow to honour the 19 people killed when the bridge collapsed exactly 50 years earlier while under construction.

Lou Lessard, a survivor of the 50-metre plunge into Burrard Inlet from what was then known as the Second Narrows Bridge, will be among the speakers honouring the victims on the milestone anniversary of B.C.'s worst industrial accident -- June 17, 1958.

The collapse of the bridge, today a crucial link in the Trans-Canada Highway, killed 18 construction workers instantly and also a diver trying tried to find survivors among the 79 workers who plunged from the bridge.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Alberta government braces for union reaction to labour code changes

article: Journal of Commerce
The Alberta government has introduced what critics are calling anti-union changes to the province's labour code.

The legislation bans strikes and lockouts for ambulance workers and prevents unions from subsidizing contract bids by unionized contractors competing with non-union firms.

The changes will also prevent union-supporting workers from joining a non-union company to kickstart the process of unionizing the firm - a practice known as salting.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

B.C. building boom far from over

read full article by Tom Fletcher, BC Local News
B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair said the construction industry and the B.C. government are suffering from their own policies as well as a demographic change.

"The last resort is temporary foreign workers," Sinclair said. "We know they're being brought in, we know they're being exploited. And frankly we shouldn't be running around the world stealing skilled trades from other countries, we should be training our own."

He said Canada lags behind other developed countries in its per-capita spending on training, and the B.C. government's decision to "blow up" the union-based apprenticeship programs is hurting the province now.

In May B.C. Economic Development Minister Colin Hansen announced the Industry Training Authority has nearly 40,000 registered apprentices and "youth participants," but more modest completion figures. In the past year carpenter certificates increased from 180 to 385, with similar increases for plumbers, electricians and auto mechanics.

Sinclair said the apprenticeship figures are inflated by including everyone who is in a trades training program.

"In my opinion, an apprentice is only a person who is indentured to an employer," he said.

Wayne Peppard, executive director of the BC Building Trades, said the most acute shortages will be engineering and industrial trades for high-tech projects like a SkyTrain extension in Surrey.

The most acute needs are for construction managers and supervisors, boilermakers, construction millwrights, crane and heavy equipment operators, insulators, ironworkers, pipefitters and welders, as well as electricians, sheet metal workers, plumbers and carpenters for large engineering projects.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Send Us Your Safety Plan NOW!

Classic Rock 101 and Worksafe BC
Every construction site has it's own stories and ideas that construction workers and their management have implemented to make the workplace safer. What are yours?

WorkSafeBC and Classic Rock 101 invite you to post your job site safety strategies here. Impress our panel of experts and your crew could earn the elusive “Bro Jake Certified” stamp.

Then - to celebrate your certification, Bro Jake will load up the Rock Machine with Rock 101 Girls and bring lunch to you and your crew! Share your safety strategy… and we’ll rock you to the foundation!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Carpenters Union Big Goes Back on Trial for Bribery

village voice>blogs>Runnin Scared
What may be the city’s longest running bribery case is back in court this week — ten years after the alleged crime was committed.

Mike Forde, executive secretary of the 25,000-member New York District Council of Carpenters was charged back in 2000 with taking a $50,000 bribe from a mobbed up contractor while dining in 1998 at a midtown Hooter’s restaurant.