Thursday, December 31, 2009

CEP Wants on The Menu to Lower Standards in Saskatchewan?

read article at CEP Union

Monday, December 28, 2009

Manitoba Hydro denies Quebec bias

read full article at Winnipeg Free Press: "The unions estimate that at peak employment a month ago, 44 per cent of the carpenters and 60 to 65 per cent of the labourers at the site were from Quebec. Two of the three companies that make up the consortium awarded the general civil construction contract are based in Quebec.

The unions say that Manitoba Hydro and the provincial government should do more to maximize the number of Manitobans who benefit from the $1.6-billion megaproject.

Ron Evans, grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, said he's frustrated that trained aboriginal workers are not being hired as apprentices.

'The belief by the workers, by the people who have been laid off or didn't get a job, is that the contractor from Quebec is bringing in people from Quebec, using Wuskwatim as a training (ground) for them because they are going to be building two hydro dams in Quebec,' Evans said.

He said job postings from contractor O'Connell-Neilson-EBC (ONE) contain 'weasel clauses' calling for specific work experience that prevents aboriginals and other Manitobans from being hired. A ONE official didn't return phone requests for an interview."

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Strange bedfellows: CLAC and CEP Support Passing of Bill 80

CEP Union weblog

CEP's Construction Arm Wants to be on The Menu in Saskatchewan

read article at CEP Union weblog: "Here is what Dave Coles said about choice....

“With 80% of construction workers in the province being non-union, and the remainder represented by American unions, this is giant step forward for construction workers in the province,” says Dave Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

Here is what the CEP's National Construction coordinator said about choice....

'We just want to be able to put ourselves on the menu and help defend workers if they so choose us,' said Josh Coles, CEP's national construction strategy coordinator,

“The public policy results the people of this province, I think, deserve — and that is the protection of essential services, the democratic ethos that we see in the amendments to the Trade Union Act, the expansion and reinvigoration of the construction sector with Bill 80,” said Norris, who noted even some unions, namely the Communications Energy and Paperworkers, support the proposed construction bill."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Season's Greetings from CMAW

I'd like to take a moment to wish the best of the season to all Carpenters, Scaffolders and other Tradespeople in our Province and in all of North America - to all of the men and women who work in the same trade as the carpenter whose birth we celebrate at this time. I know the challenge continues for many working families as we weather this global recession that was certainly no fault of working people. The news we have been hearing from around North America about climate change and the economy has not been good news but we are proud of the work we do. We will pull though this, and we have pride that is expressed in our families, our homes, our jobs, our union, and our hearts this season.

I would especially like to thank those tradespeople who have joined us or remained with CMAW in spite of adverse economic times. I sincerely hope that all our differences of opinion in our union can be resolved in the seasonal spirit of peace and harmony. Some of our Brothers and Sisters around North America continue to try to make the UBCJA more democratic and sometimes at a great personal cost to themselves. Thank you for your efforts. We here in Beautiful British Columbia are actively resisting raids by that same union that has lost its way as it tries to undermine our glowing light of Canadian autonomy - and just like the three wise men who followed a bright light on Christmas Eve so long ago, we will make that light our destination.

I would like to extend a challenge this holiday season to all Canadian members of the UBCJA to join us and help us build a big strong, democratic, Canadian union for Carpenters and other Tradespeople - a union that works for its members - not against them. Rise up. Be brave. Call us at (604) 437-0471. My best wishes to all of you for a safe and enjoyable holiday and a prosperous entry into 2010.

Work safe

Jan Noster

Friday, November 27, 2009

Silly Raiding Season ON in BC Construction

read full article at CEP Union
We will be looking at the facts and myths of construction during the raiding period in BC which starts from November 1 to December 31. I think this would be an interesting look into what CEP members money is spend on. I thank those that have been sending me information about this and would encourage those reading to send an e-mail with any facts to

CMAW likes to call it self an 'independent Canadian Union affiliated with the Communication Energy and Paperworkers Union ( CEP ). Let look at the FACTS.

First CMAW is not Independent. It is the Construction Arm of what some like to call CEP better know as the Forestry Union. In a March 11, 2009 press release the head of the Forestry union stated:

“CEP’s construction arm will work to change that, and we will also work to ensure that workers who are laid off in other sectors of the economy, can transition to construction, when skills permit,” says Dave Coles

If your independent the members on the executive board would be ONLY CMAW members.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Some unions don't act like unions at all

click to read full CMAW article
* They don’t protect the interests of their members.
* They don’t come to your aid when you need help.
* Their agreements with employers protect the boss’s rights, not member rights
* They tell their employers one thing, then tell their members something else.

The annual raiding period is coming, and you will be hearing from some of these unions. It could be the International Carpenters who go by the name BC regional Council of Carpenters. It could be their cousins, who go by the name CAST. It could be the painters union.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

CMAW Fall 2009 Newsletter now online

download the Write Angle as a .pdf
New 1995 president plans to move forward
CWBP cuts benefits to retired members
Coles says vision & strength needed like never before
Oldest chartered local in Western Canada turns 100
Dam expansion project will create work for carpenters
How the home reno tax credit works
New t-shirts for scaffolders available now

Thursday, October 08, 2009

A different view outside AFL-CIO’s big tent

read full article By Michael Mishak, Las Vegas Sun
The fight goes back to 2001, when the carpenters, under the leadership of Douglas J. McCarron, split from the country’s largest labor federation, dismissing the AFL-CIO as a lumbering bureaucracy that had failed to adapt to changes in the modern construction industry.

The carpenters pledged to organize nonunion workers through so-called “wall-to-wall” agreements, designed to place all workers on a project under the carpenters umbrella. Such pacts, however, effectively meant poaching members from other trades, thus setting up jurisdictional warfare across the country.

After years of fighting, the battle seemingly came to a head in August at the painters union convention in Las Vegas. Painters officials called on the AFL-CIO to condemn what they called the carpenters’ “predatory behavior” and asked the federation’s new leader, Richard Trumka, to help them fight back.

Delegates exclaimed in unison: “It’s about time!”

The AFL-CIO responded at its convention in Pittsburgh last month, passing a resolution urging the carpenters to rejoin the federation. Failing that, the AFL-CIO gave its Building and Construction Trades Department permission to start organizing carpenters — with the ultimate goal of forming a competing carpenters union.

In a statement, McCarron dismissed the resolution as “a solution in search of a problem,” adding that his carpenters work with AFL-CIO unions on a regular basis to complete construction projects.

He said the federation’s officials should spend their resources “organizing the craft workers in the markets they used to represent, before they divert their members’ hard-earned dues in efforts to reach out to workers they lack the knowledge to represent and the skills or resources to train.”

The carpenters’ aggressive organizing strategy, McCarron said, reflects “the industry our members work in, instead of the industry our founders knew.”

Labor experts said they expect the conflict to intensify as more and more contractors engage in work that cuts across traditional jurisdictional lines.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Situational Ethics of Union ‘Raiding’

read full article at Talking Union by Steve Early "CWA organizer"

Whatever their roots or rationale, schisms in the “house of labor” are invariably accompanied by much-feared “rogue union” activity.

That’s why, in Pittsburgh this week, AFL-CIO conventioneers called a brief halt to their torrent of speeches and resolutions about corporate misbehavior to deal with a menacing labor miscreant and outlier—Doug McCarron’s United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC).

The 500,000-member UBC left the AFL ahead of other CTW unions, saying its per capita dues were being wasted on ineffective “New Voice” programs launched by the now-departed John Sweeney. Then, in 2005, the Carpenters joined CTW. Then, last Fall—in a development concealed by CTW until this month–the UBC stopped paying dues to Stern’s new federation as well.

A week ago, McCarron made it official—he has quit Change To Win, several steps ahead of John Wilhelm’s UNITE-HERE, which reaffiliated with the AFL-CIO yesterday.

In the meantime, McCarron’s critics say, he has been undercutting AFL construction unions by offering contractors wall-to-wall labor agreements designed to replace other skilled tradesmen with his own members, who will be employed for less pay under more “flexible” work rules.

Not surprisingly, this has made his fellow building tradesmen–plus manufacturing and even public employee unionists–quite irate.

Mike Sullivan, general president of the Sheet Metal Workers, was among those convention delegates who denounced the Carpenters and bemoaned the “millions of dollars” spent “defending the rights of members who don’t want to be in their union.”

Tom Buffenbarger, president of the Machinists (IAM), declared that “this is not just a building trades issue. This is an issue for all others” in the federation (as indeed it is, since the IAM has lately been poaching truckers from the Teamsters).

These more conservative speakers were joined by former UE organizer Ken Allen, now the top AFSCME official in Oregon and a past Labor Notes conference participant. Allen blasted both the UBC and SEIU, headed by Andy Stern. (Stern’s top-down “modernization,” centralization of control over bargaining, and forced consolidation of locals has often been compared to the Carpenters’ own restructuring under McCarren).

Allen told the convention that affiliates “who left in 2005 opened the door for all kinds of trouble… SEIU and the Carpenters are doing the bosses’ work when they raid our unions.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Finance Minister welcomes investment from Chinese sources

read full article at Calgary Herald
"The high price of developing the oilsands has been a concern for China, which wants to bring in their own cheap labour to offset costs."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

CMAW Spring/Summer newsletter 2009

Click here to download the Spring/Summer '09 newsletter as a PDF.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Carpentry Workers Pension and Benefit plans Spring newsletter

click to download the Pension and Benefits plan newsletter in PDF format

of special note on the last page are changes to the
Extended Health Care Online Centre
register by July 31 to win an iPod Shuffle

(a tip on registering, no spaces between your first and last name, a short password will be rejected, and the user id # is the full Green Shield card ID number, not just your Plan number)

Monday, June 29, 2009

one million visits to and one more McCarron cartoon

It's been 10 years since I started and the visit counter is now over 999,000. By the start of July it will roll a million or go back to zero. To celebrate I have made the 100th poster satirizing Douglas J. McCarron, the CEO of the Carpenters Union. You can view it at the douglas j mccarron: the complete despot collection weblog where the other 99 cartoons now reside on the internet.

It's been 10 years since Doug McCarron ventured out of his comfort zone to have the lights turned off on him at Local 513 in Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada when his restructuring initiative tried to take away the right to vote for contracts and officers. YouTube - Lights Out, McCarron It's been 10 years since the wildcat strike at the San Francisco airport and McCarron and Draper hung John Reimann of Local 713 out to dry by expelling him from the union. Since that time McCarron has not missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. He hobnobbed with George W. Bush on Labor Day in 2001 and 2002 when he flew to Wisconsin and Pennsylvania on Air Force One with Dubya. It's a been 7 years since he locked out the officers of Atlanta 225 and imposed trusteeship.

He tore down 101 Constitution Ave. in Washington DC and had condos built within spitting distance of the White House. He gambled your dues money on a new training center in Las Vegas and there are 2000 members sitting on the board there now. He lined his pockets with insider trading loot in the ULLICO scandal and had to give it back. He did his best to gut the AFL-CIO by withdrawing along with Hoffa's Teamsters and the Labourer's Union. He endorsed John Edwards (and Bush before him) for President.

He makes over a quarter of a million dollars a year plus tips over the last 10 years and is about as visible these days as Pauxutawney Phil at midnight. He only surfaces to be voted Construction Man of the year by the Association of General Contractors. He addressed them again on May 28th of 2009. Busy guy, but he hasn't done much for you, the rank and file carpenters.

UBCJA carpenters can print this Where's McCarron poster and hang it by the phone as you continue to wait for the call for work. Enjoy your summer off.

CMAW carpenters can take a bit of pride in the fact that McCarron lost face, bigtime, right here in BC.

You earned your autonomy.

Friday, June 26, 2009

1995 Elections results

unofficial results of the 1995 election/June 16th

President, Bill Duck 193
Randy Smith 117

Vice President Randy Freeman 124
Eugenio Zanotto 190

Monday, June 22, 2009

1995 Elections

I would like to congratulate the Bill Duck and Eugenio Zanotto slate for taking all positions in the CMAW 1995 election except for the position of Recording Secretary which was won by Randy Freeman.

Thank you for all your support.

Randy Smith
CMAW Local 1995 President

Good luck to the new executive in solving the many issues within CMAW. Hopeful the issues of being the construction arm of CEP get dealt with in a manner that all CMAW 1995 members can be proud of.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Retail Wholesale Union cuts pension benefits

read article: Vancouver Sun
One of the plan's problems is that there are about 660 retired members receiving benefits and only about 400 active members paying into the plan. This is due, in part, to contracting out of some work that union members previously performed.

Even before the recent market meltdown, the plan was in some difficulty. As of Dec. 31, 2007, the plan had a 'solvency deficiency' of three per cent, DeBeck noted in his letter to members.

That deficiency jumped to 24 per cent by Dec. 31, 2008, due mainly to the plan's heavy weighting in equities, a weighting so heavy that by April 30 this year -- even after the stock market had suffered a sharp reversal -- the plan had 57 per cent of its $215 million total assets in stocks.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Alberta oil jobs returning, but N.L. workers see leaner offerings

read article: CBC
The president of the Newfoundland and Labrador United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners says that at this time last year workers from the province couldn't keep up with the demand from Alberta.

Gus Doyle said many of his union's 2,000 members found work in Alberta's oilfields, but lost work when the economy tanked last year. Now Doyle said some of them are finding jobs in Western Canada again.

'I would say we still got 200 or 300 members working there,' he said.

But Doyle said workers aren't piling up overtime hours like they used to anymore.

'Now it's 40-50 hours a week, as opposed to 70 or 80 hours. So they're going to be more cautious about what they put in for overtime,' he said.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Judge orders union to return $800,000

read full article: The Province
A judge has ordered that a union representing electrical workers pay back more than $800,000 in dues unlawfully collected from more than 400 members.

In a class-action suit, former International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local 213 union member Richard Frick objected to dues collected from members working on the Vancouver Island highway deal under the then NDP government's union-only hiring policy.

The money collected on those projects was put in a fund to subsidize bids for contractors on other jobs.

B.C. Supreme Court Madam Justice Kirsti Gill found that the IBEW could collect dues for that purpose under their standard agreement, but not under the union-only deal.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Almost half of top unions have underfunded pension plans

read full article:
Almost half of the nation’s 20 largest unions have pension funds that federal law classifies as “endangered” or in “critical” condition due to being underfunded, an Examiner review of federal actuarial reports shows.

Pensions with less than 80 percent of the assets needed to cover present and projected liabilities are considered “endangered,” while those that fall below a 65 percent threshold are classified as “critical” under the Pension Protection Act of 2006.
Unions are required to file 5500 forms that record the financial health of their retirement plans, show that union pension funds have lost their financial footing over the past several years.

Eight of the largest unions have underfunded plans, according to the most recent 5500 reports, including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Laborers International Union of Northern America, the International Association of Machinists, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, the International Union of Operating Engineers, and the National Plumbers Union.

The average union pension has resources to cover only 62 percent of what is owed to participants, according to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC). Less than one in every 160 workers is covered by a union pension with required assets.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

CMAW Construction

read full text:
"I can (see) how one issue might bother CMAW Local 1995. CEP representative Mike Fenton is list on the CEP Western Region site a the Recording Secretary for CMAW. Who interests does Mike represent? I would assume the one that is paying him which would be CEP. I could see why CEP would like to have a representative on the board of CMAW. After all this is the construction arm of CEP ( well that is the way CEP likes to say it )

“CEP’s construction arm will work to change that, and we will also work to ensure that workers who are laid off in other sectors of the economy, can transition to construction, when skills permit,” says Coles

CMAW views the relationship slightly differently in the CMAW Owners Manual it says ' as an independent Canadian union CMAW is organizing workers in construction in other fields...'"

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

CEP Union: Forestry Not The Only Protest

read full article (and 1995 press release) via

It is interesting that CMAW and CMAW Local 1928 went to get an order to stop protesting in front of their offices. Especially when CEP members across the country have occupied a number of member of parliaments constituency offices in trying to raise awareness about the forestry issues across Canada.

'An Order that the CMAW Bargaining Council Local 1995, its officers, members employees, agents and any other persons authorized by Local 1995 and Randy Smith and Mitch Nowak shall refrain from picketing at or near 2806 Kingsway, in the City of Vancouver BC which means refraining from attending at or near the entrances, exits, or premises of the building for the purpose of persuading or attempting to persuade any one not to enter that place of business or building, and includes any similar act at such place that has an equivalent purpose.'

This issue seems to have been an on going issue since the fall of 2008 when CMAW Local 1995 member(s) voted to leave CEP. Since that time CMAW has continued to (remit) dues on behalf of CMAW local 1995 members to CEP.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

1999 Wildcat Strike - 10 Years After - part3

Facts For Working People: full article: "Local 713 was probably the most militant local. Members of 713 sent wildcatters to all the other bay area locals to push for a vote against the contract and resolutions for the return of our right to vote on the contract. In June Local 713 voted 85 to 6 for a One Member One Vote resolution and at a following meeting, in a standing vote, passed a motion against the contract of 182 to 5. I can still see the faces of the 5 business agents up against the wall as their votes were counted."

Monday, May 18, 2009

UFO Drops Out Of Large Craft Over The Palo Verdi Nuclear Power Plant

HBCC UFO Research, Box 1091 Houston, British Columbia, Canada
"I was one of the Electricians on the tower with 15-20 people from the Carpenters Union."

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Coastal mayors prepare for showdown with Catalyst Paper over tax bills

Company says the burden is unacceptable to industry in these tough times
read article: VANCOUVER SUN

Catalyst - still eating your lunch

article from the Times-Colonist archives: August 24, 2006

Island towns stare down Catalyst
Lefebure points out that the taxes represent only about one per cent of Catalyst's operating expenses, but they're the lifeblood of the communities that house the mills. Those communities, which have already endured sawmill closures, slowdowns in the fishing and mining industries and the loss of residents to more prosperous regions, say they just can't absorb the loss of millions in tax revenue.

Ken McRae, mayor of Port Alberni, said Catalyst just cut 60 jobs when it shut down the pulp facility in the mill there, and now is "suggesting if we don't want to lose more, we'd better do something."

Monday, May 11, 2009

100th Anniversary sticker for LU 1735 Prince Rupert

(click image for larger version)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

New union brings together Ottawa and Gatineau construction workers

CEP Media Advisory
The new construction union, Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP) Local 5050, will allow carpenters, interior systems trades and roofers that work in Ottawa to join a union that works in unity with their partner organizations in the Gatineau area.

'Until now, there has not been a union in Ottawa that was aligned with FTQ-Construction unions, the group that most construction workers belong to in Gatineau,' says Gaetan Menard, CEP Secretary-Treasurer. 'Gatineau area construction workers had no home in Ottawa and no organization that could guarantee that pensions and benefits earned in Ottawa would be sent back to Quebec. CEP is changing that with the formation of this new union.'

Saturday, May 02, 2009

CEP Union weblog
Following the activities of the Communication Energy and Paperworkers Union

Union Bosses Hide From Angry Membership
It seems that some brothers and sisters are not happy with what is happening at FTQ Construction. How many FTQ Construction members does CEP have? How many CMAW construction members does CEP have? How many construction members does CEP have?

Wed, 2009-04-15 14:52.
Kathy Coulombe

Internal dissension at Quebec's biggest union: About 300 demonstrators staged a protest outside the FTQ's Cremazie Boulevard office-tower over the noon hour then moved on to Anjou to the offices of "FTQ-Construction" on the Met.

The painters, glaziers, heavy machinery operators and electrians came from across the province to complain about what they see as a bad atmosphere in their union after the election of new directors last November.

The protesters wanted to talk with their union leadership, but the building was locked-down when the first busload of demonstrators pulled-up.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

'A lot of hurt out there'

B.C. job losses largest in the country
By Elaine O'Connor, The Province; with files from Canwest News Service

Another 23,000 people in B.C. joined the ranks of job-seekers in March as unemployment continues to climb in the province.

British Columbia saw some of the steepest job losses in the country last month, shedding nearly 23,000 jobs, according to Statistics Canada's new labour-force survey.
Across Canada, another 61,300 jobs were cut in March and the unemployment rate rose to eight per cent, pointing to a deepening recession. A total of 357,000 jobs have been lost nationally since October 2008's peak, the largest decline since the 1982 recession.

B.C. residents suffered the largest loss of all the provinces last month, ahead of Ontario and Alberta.

Among the hardest-hit sectors are B.C.'s biggest industries: construction, real estate and manufacturing (including wood products).

That's not news to Prince George's Chris Bennett, a 21-year-old second-year construction apprentice. "I'm looking for work right now and I find it's getting pretty tight. I'd say, yeah, the economy isn't helping too much," he said.

B.C.'s Construction, Maintenance and Allied Workers president Jan Noster, whose union represents 7,000 workers in B.C. and Alberta, said 20 per cent of his members are without work. "In outlying rural areas it's grim. There's a lot of hurt out there. I don't want to be all doom and gloom, but the housing industry is in the tubes and I don't think it's coming back any time soon," he said.

Worst hit are construction workers in Northern B.C., where the economic picture was already dire, and it's the young apprentices who are bearing the brunt of layoffs.

"A lot of young people came into the trades because we were telling them it was a good place to be. In a downturn like this the apprentices are the first ones cut," Noster said.

Statistics Canada reports 16,000 B.C. jobs were lost in construction last month, 8,500 in real estate and finance and 6,600 in manufacturing. (Sectors like transportation and food services saw increases, bringing total losses to under 23,000.)

The province has lost a total of 69,000 jobs since October and 73,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

B.C.'s jobless rate rose 2.2 percentage points in March to 7.4 per cent. Regionally in B.C., the highest unemployment rates were seen in Northern B.C., at 11.7 per cent, and the Southern Interior at 9.3 per cent. The unemployment rate in Vancouver was 6.3, in Abbotsford, 6.8, and in Victoria, 6.1 per cent.

B.C. NDP finance critic Bruce Ralston said deep B.C. losses reflected the Liberals' slow reaction.

"For months into the economic downturn, Gordon Campbell told British Columbians not to worry. He had no idea what was going on for working families in the province. He responded slowly, and even today he stands alone among western leaders in calling for tax increases and program cuts," Ralston said.

B.C. Economic Development Minister Ida Chong said the government had been working since the economy faltered on infrastructure plans that would soon supply jobs, albeit not in time to be reflected in the March job numbers

The latest statistics, Chong said, "made it very clear that Canada is still in a recession and B.C. is not immune. But by the end of the week we will have announced 400 projects worth $2.8 billion that will create 18,000 jobs."

Looking at the Canadian picture, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets Douglas Porter said the report "leaves little doubt that we remain deep in the heart of the recession, despite some mildly encouraging results on other fronts in recent weeks. The good news, such as it is, is that the job losses are not accelerating."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the latest jobs news was serious, but not unexpected. "Obviously this is not good news. At the same time this is the kind of level of unemployment we were expecting," he said in Edmonton. "We are, while not surprised, obviously concerned about the rising jobless numbers."

The economy contracted 3.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2008, and is expected to shrink further in the first quarter of 2009.

"The job losses over the past few months have made it unambiguously clear that the Canadian labour market is weakening at a very dramatic pace," said Millan Mulraine, a TD Securities economics strategist. "And with the Canadian economy continuing to weaken, the outlook for labour market conditions remains very grim."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Found on the web...

see the movie:

"Coles turns the lights out on CEP Local 777 membership stripped of democracy!"

Construction Heavy Equipment Blog

Monday, February 16, 2009

CMAW Shipbuilders 506 wins LRB decision

The UA and IBEW's claims that CMAW Local 506 is not a trade union fall on deaf ears at the LRB!!!
download the LRB decision as a pdf BCLRB No. B30/2009
Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd. -and- Construction, Maintenance and Allied Workers Bargaining Council, Local Unit Number 506 of Marine & Shipbuilders (United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Marine and Shipbuilders, Local Union No. 506) -and- Local 213 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada, Local No. 170

Monday, February 09, 2009

CMAW Local #2020 letter supporting IPP and recomending BC Hydro begin approving 5,000 GWh of CPC contracts.

read full text: Syntaris Power Corporation
The Construction, Maintenance and Allied Workers Union (CMAW) Local 2020 demonstrated their support for IPP’s in a unsolicited letter directed to the Premier of BC and the Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.
note: CMAW charter: January 1, 2008.
Local Unit 2020 came into existence as a result of a merger of Local 1812 Duncan (Carpenters Union charter: June 12, 1947); Local 1989 North Island (Carpenters Union charter: September 30, 1989) which had resulted from a merger of Local 1638 Courtenay and Local 1882 Campbell River; and Local 2068 Powell River (Carpenters Union charter: October 4, 1937).

Labour group wants tougher penalties

read article:
Robert Ellis, vice president of the Policy, Investigations and Review Divisions of WorkSafe B.C., said his outfit's focus must be on preventing these tragedies.

Sinclair pointed to Encana's fine as a slap on the wrist.

On Vancouver Island, the largest penalty was imposed on Catalyst's pulp mill in Campbell River for "significant and avoidable violation of requirements to identify and assess risk of asbestos exposure, resulting in uncontrolled worker exposure to loose asbestos debris."

Catalyst was penalized $75,000.

In the mid-Island area, the highest penalty was imposed on TimberWest Forest for the Nov. 19, 2005 death of Ted Gramlich, 52, of Crofton.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Can't pay, won't pay, Catalyst tells towns

read article: Times Colonist
The municipalities could eventually take over the properties for non-payment of the taxes. Catalyst's reaction to that possibility is a shrug. It would have to borrow another $23 million to pay its coastal property taxes and gives no indication it will. The firm has come up with its own version of a fair tax bill (about a quarter of what's owing). It will submit that come July, then wait to see what happens.

Company president Richard Garneau told the provincial government last month that the company isn't bluffing. 'Municipalities may see Catalyst's position as a negotiation,' he said. 'It is not.'

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

B.C. union asks federal government to halt use of Expedited Labour Market Opinion

read full article: Journal of Commerce
The Expedited Labour Market Opinion (ELMO) is a pilot project launched by the federal government in September 2007, under the TFW program.

The project allows eligible employers in B.C. and Alberta to follow shorter, simpler and less costly advertising requirements to fill empty jobs with temporary foreign workers.

Initially, the ELMO aimed to fast track the entry of foreign workers in 12 high demand occupations. Only two of these occupations, carpenters and crane operators, were in the construction industry.

In January 2008, HRDC announced changes to the program, which expanded the number of construction occupations to 12.

Friday, January 30, 2009

BC worker avoids serious injury in scaffolding mishap

read full article: Canadian Occupational Health & Safety News
A contract worker sustained relatively minor injuries on the morning of January 16 in a dramatic near-miss incident involving high-power electrical lines in Prince George, British Columbia.

The worker, an employee of Prince George-based Chinook Scaffold Systems, was installing scaffolding around a pipe bridge belonging to Canfor Pulp Limited Partnership, says Canfor spokesman Rick Lewis. Around 11:20 am, he says, a portion of the scaffolding made contact with over-hanging 69 kilowatt power lines, causing an explosion and cutting off power to the surrounding industrial sites.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Fears of chemical spill spur province to take over B.C. mill

read full article: Globe and Mail
The mill is currently down to 37 unionized employees and 13 staff, owed three and five weeks' pay, respectively, according to Local 1092 of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada. The company also owes about $400,000 in electricity bills and another $300,000 in gas bills, the union said.

And Mr. White has seemingly walked away from the company, leaving the job of director to a person based in Slovenia, according to a local report.

Mr. White, also involved in Alberta and B.C.-based real estate ventures, could not be reached for comment Sunday, but he was not part of negotiations over the weekend, the union said.

“The guy has all these dreams,” said Carl Bernasky, Local 1092 president, “… and then he turns around and can't make payroll.”

Monday, January 12, 2009

2008 BCSC 1660 Allied Hydro Council v. Construction, Maintenance and Allied Workers Bargaining Council, Local 2300

read full text online (not pdf)

In the matter of Section 2 of the Judicial Review Procedure Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 241,
and British Columbia Labour Relations Board Decision No. B235/2007


Allied Hydro Council v. Construction, Maintenance and Allied Workers Bargaining Council, Local 2300,

2008 BCSC 1660

Date: 20081202
Docket: S078458
Registry: Vancouver


Allied Hydro Council



Construction, Maintenance and Allied Workers Bargaining Council, Local 2300,
British Columbia Provincial Council of Carpenters and the British Columbia Labour Relations Board


Before: The Honourable Mr. Justice Pearlman

Reasons for Judgment

Friday, January 09, 2009

Madoff Exposure Spreads to Labor Union Pension Funds

read full article:
CNBC has learned that one union, the Carpenters local in Syracuse, N.Y., has lost the majority of the $100 million to $150 million it had in pension money because of its dealings with Madoff, people close to the matter said. The union's money manager, J.P. Jeanneret Associates of Syracuse, didn't return a telephone call for comment.

The Syracuse carpenters local isn't alone. Pat Morin, business manager of Empire State Carpenters Union, is sifting through the wreckage in his own portfolio, which at the end of June had around $800 million in assets under management. Morin says his fund has exposure to Madoff as well, largely the result of consolidation in union pension funds where locals like Syracuse had transferred money to his oversight.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Scaling the scaffolding slowdown

read full text: Alberta Construction Magazine
During the boom, the scaffolding sector struggled to supply industry with enough equipment and skilled workers.

In the years 2005 to 2008, Beaulieu says owners often needed to book scaffolding services at least a year in advance. Now, he says, three or four months´ notice might suffice.

The boom years in industrial, commercial, and institutional construction coincided with increased demand for safety, says Dean Dancy, western regional manager at Peri Formwork Systems Inc. The result is that scaffolding is now widely seen as part of safe access to work areas and is used more extensively than in the past.

Dancy says that Peri´s western business "has grown 45 to 50 per cent for each of the last three years." He expects a possible 10 per cent slowdown in 2009. He´s hopeful, however, that infrastructure construction will take up some of the slack should oilsands work fail to pick up steam again within about 18 months.

Layoffs began late last fall, but this spring could see an uptick in oilsands construction and scaffolding work.