Union Work Is in Jeopardy!

We need our members to stand together in solidarity. Why? Because, recently, some of our members started working with non-union contractors in our jurisdiction. This occurred with two Alberta companies, Skyway Canada and Franks Sandblasting & Coatings. Both companies are managed by people we know well. Because of this, Local #222 attempted to unionize these contractors by filing for certification at the Alberta Labour Board.

  • Skyway Canada - We were actively seeking to certify Skyway Canada in their shop, located in Edmonton, Alberta. Ultimately the unit went CLAC despite some of those workers being members of our Union. We have taken disciplinary action against any members still employed with the Company and working under the CLAC Agreement.
  • Franks Sandblasting & Coatings - Some members were working for Franks Sandblasting & Coatings at the Joffre Nova Chemical Plant located in Black Falls, Alberta. The Labour Board ordered a vote. The vote was lost with all voters voting against the Union.
    We have taken disciplinary action against members that were employed by the Company.

Your Obligations…

Bad decisions about work have a consequence that effect more than just you. The repercussions of turning your back on the Union are felt throughout the organization, impacting far more than just yourself. As a union member you have an obligation to honor our Constitution and Bylaws, locally and internationally. Be advised that any members who support, promote or sponsor dual unionism or conspire to solicit non-union contractors that are working in our jurisdiction will be charged accordingly. As a union member you cannot work for a signatory contactor without being dispatched, through the Local.

Our Local is a one and eight name hire. That means the Local can send one for every eight members a contactor requests. So, just because a contractor called you personally does not mean we have not dispatched you. Besides, the contactor got your contact information from the Locals’ out of work list that is provided to them.

The Local is where members connect to the Union - it's where you go for help, and where you meet and contact to discuss workplace concerns and issues.

We encourage all Members to reach out to the Local before making decisions that can have a negative outcome on compliance with our Constitution and Bylaws. If you see or hear of activities that undermine the Union, let us know.

An Environment Where We All Lose…

For the past 40 years, industrial fireproofing has been done by union members which has served the membership with secure, well-paid positions throughout our jurisdiction. On behalf of our members, the Union has negotiated for hard won concessions from contractors to improve the lives of our members. This includes above average wage packages, a respectable pension and a good and fair health and welfare program.

For many years, the Local increased its membership as the demand for work increased. Sadly, this growth pattern has changed. Demand for work has hit an all-time low and we are experiencing some difficult times. Adding to this, we have seen new profiteers (non-union contractors) entering our markets, wanting to capitalize on work that was predominantly done by our Union and Union Members.

It’s important to remember that non-union and CLAC contactors would not have any market share if our members refused to work for them. It’s as simple as that. Sharing your experience gained through union jobs from faithful union contactors and then joining the non-union does a great disservice to the Union and all its members. These are individuals and organizations that have chosen to turn down union certification and even conspired to join and create a CLAC fireproofing arm.

These actions are contributing directly to non-union competition within our markets. Make no mistake, these inroads will have an everlasting impact on your wages, your pension, and health and welfare.

Stop The Race to The Bottom…

Over the next few years, in the industrial Fireproofing sector, there will only be so much new fireproofing work to go around. This means less work for everyone. The situation is made even more complex when our own members allow non-union and CLAC to get a foothold in our jurisdiction. This just means even less work for our members at lower rates! With the increase in new non-union contractors bidding on limited work, wages are being driven down as the competition for that work increases. In this environment, loyal union contractors will be forced to bid lower.

Stand Together & Get Active

Unions don’t operate on autopilot. They must be driven by active members. No individual officer or staffer can get much done without members who stand together in solidarity and who are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals. Our Union has demonstrated the power of collective action. As you have seen, when workers join together, they gain the clout to get better wages and benefits, safe workplaces, world-class training and improved working conditions. On our own, we can’t make any of these gains.

  • Resist non-union and CLAC contactors.
  • Report activities of members that dishonor our Constitution and Bylaws.

Work with the Local to strengthen our industries. We need your input to find solutions to meet the challenges of what lies ahead. Local #222 is committed to delivering unmatched value for contractors and owners—proving that developing a partnership with our union is the best investment they will ever make.

George Emery
Local #222
Business Manager / Financial Secretary