and Allied Workers
August 18, 2005
Another Victory for BC Carpenters
BC Court upholds Labour Board Craft decision
In an historic judgment issued today, BC Supreme Court Justice J. Groves ruled that a BC Labour Board decision allowing for Canadian Autonomy for BC Carpenters should not be overturned.
"This is another huge win for our members who have been demanding Canadian independence for over 10 years," said BC Carpenters Union President Len Embree.
The union's American parent organization, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBCJA), had made another desperate attempt in court to overturn the Labour Board's certification of Canadian Autonomy campaigns launched by union members working for more than 100 BC Carpenters Union employers.
"The Americans should quit wasting members' money and give up the fight," said Pat Haggarty, Secretary Treasurer of CMAW, the organization formed to achieve Canadian Autonomy.
CMAW won the right to represent craft units in June of this year and so far 116 certifications have been granted by the Labour Board.
While the UBCJA is expected to appeal this decision, Embree concludes that, in reality, the case is closed. "Justice Groves was very clear that the Labour Board has the right to grant our freedom," he said.
August 8, 2005
CMAW WINS KEY CERTIFICATION DECISION
The British Columbia Labour Relations Board has certified CMAW as the bargaining agent for workers at 115 work sites formerly represented by the BC Carpenters Union. CMAW was the union of choice for 90 per cent of those voting across the province.
CMAW is the Construction, Maintenance and Allied Workers, a joint bargaining council formed by the BC Carpenters and its affiliated local unions (Construction, Industrial, Millwrights, Schoolboards, Shipbuilders) and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP).
For the past ten years, BC carpenters have been engaged in a fight to win autonomy from the American-based United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.
CMAW President Brian Zdrilic said, "We are extremely pleased that our members clearly demonstrated their desire for autonomy within a Canadian union. Our members have been pushing to put an end to control from Washington D.C. to ensure that decisions for Canadian workers will be made in Canada, not in the United States."
However, BC Carpenters Union President Len Embree warned that the battle is not entirely over. "In the midst of a successful and popular membership campaign, the International Union continues to act arbitrarily and without any membership support," said Embree.
The Washington-based union has launched proceedings to place the BC Carpenters under trusteeship, which is viewed by Embree as, "a last ditch effort to extract revenge and attempt to steal our members' assets. But these anti-union, anti-worker tactics will not stop us from becoming the new voice of solidarity in British Columbia. We have a strong mandate for autonomy and a dedicated membership who will settle for nothing less."
For further information, contact:
Len Embree 604 437-0471
Brian Zdrilic 604 585-2736
Jamuary 29, 2005
CEP Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada
New Union One Step Closer
The British Columbia Labour Relations Board has issued a decision that gives the green light to BC Carpenters long struggle for autonomy. The Board has ruled the carpenters can transfer their bargaining rights to a new bargaining council, established jointly with CEP.
It is a big win for Canadian autonomy, says Len Embree, President of the BC Provincial Council of Carpenters. The Labour Board is allowing our members vote for freedom to be counted.
The Construction, Maintenance and Allied Workers Union (CMAW) is now waiting for the Board to count the votes that are expected to confirm that the Council will be the bargaining agent of a large section of the carpenters members who work at industrial sites. Further decisions are also expected with respect to carpenters who work on construction sites.
CMAW is the BC Council of Carpenters avenue to Canadian autonomy, says Dave Coles, CEP Vice President, Western Region. We are fighting side by side with Canadian workers for their right to run their union themselves and from within Canada.
The LRB decision rules in favour of the BC Carpenters Union in their long struggle for autonomy from its US based parent organization, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBCJA). The cross-border dispute has intensified over the past decade as the UBCJA has increasingly interfered with Canadian members rights to elect their own officers and make autonomous policy decisions in the interests of Canadian workers.
This ruling, which allows the BC Provincial Council of Carpenters to vary their certifications to the Construction, Maintenance and Allied Workers Union (CMAW), not only fortifies and preserves workers democratic rights, it brings Canadian Autonomy one step closer, says Brian Zdrilic, President of CMAW.It is an unprecedented opportunity for CMAW and its affiliates to expand their organizing efforts.
Last year the BC Carpenters Union formed a new joint all-Canadian bargaining council in partnership with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP). The new CMAW bargaining council had applied to the LRB to certify more than 120 employers across the province. As part of the certification process members were asked, in a secret ballot vote conducted by the Ministry of Labour, whether they support their unions move to CMAW.
November 21, 2003
MEDIA RELEASE (pdf)
NEW ALLIANCES IN CONSTRUCTION
Construction, Maintenance and Allied Workers Bargaining Council formed
Vancouver The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada and the BC Provincial Council of Carpenters today announced the formation of a joint council between the two unions.
The announcement follows the decision by BC carpenters in a referendum vote to sever relations with their former international union.
This Council represents the solidarity between CEP and BC Carpenters. It is the beginning of a new relationship that will fulfill the long-held aspiration of carpenters in BC for a progressive, Canadian union, said CEP President Brian Payne.
BC Carpenters have now voted democratically and without any involvement by CEP or others to chart a new course for their membership, said Payne.
This partnership can mean more job security and employment opportunities for our members, said BC Carpenters Union president Len Embree. It will help us address the growing problem of non-union contractors and gate hires doing construction and maintenance work in large industrial plants. It will also promote more solidarity and co-operation between our Industrial and School Board sectors.
Its a win-win for both unions, said Embree. This alliance makes both unions stronger.
CEP represents 150,000 Canadian trade union members across Canada, including many tradespersons in the forest industry, energy industries and other sectors.
The BC Provincial Council of Carpenters represents about 8,000 carpenters, industrial, school board employees and other workers in BC.
For further information contact:
Brian Payne, National President, CEP 613 295-5018
Len Embree, President BC Provincial Council of Carpenters 604 437-0471
Dave Coles, Western Region VP, CEP 604 240-7284
OPEIU15 - 343
Trades Shortage Looms 04.04.19
Delegates from CEP and B.C. Carpenters Locals heard a bleak forecast for our economy at a conference on apprenticeship organized by CEP.
The looming shortage of skilled workers across Canada is due to the anticipated retirement of approximately 40% of CEP members who work in trades. Despite the loss of tradespeople, employers and governments have failed to allocate the money and resources required to train replacements.
Western Region Vice President Dave Coles told the Richmond, B.C. conference that no plan or process is in place to train new workers. As a result, CEP is now being forced to bargaining training provisions into collective agreements with these same employers.
Coles said the trades shortage, needs to be recognized as a threat to our economy. He said, we cant run industries without skilled workers and we will lose our competitive advantage you cant de-skill the workforce and still have an efficient economy.