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Alberta Welding Union - Your Opinions Please

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  • #16
    It's not that Canada is different, it's Alberta that's different. There is such fierce competiton between employers for employees that many many companies pay union rates or very close to them.

    JV Driver in Alberta is unionized through CLAC and their first year rate is $25, second year $30 and so on. Decent wages. Although I have never worked for CLAC, I have heard some bad things about them..one of the most recent being the whole Finning-OEM remanufacturing thing which I wont get into here because I could write all day. CLAC is nutorious for being the choice union of EMPLOYERS not employees.

    I am a welder with Boilermakers 146. Great union. Here in Edmonton they have a huge welding shop where you can go and weld all day for free as long as you are a member. Any process, any material, all totally free. If you want to learn what you dont already know, there are plenty of welders there to help you with whatever you need. You just have to bring your coveralls..all the tools are supplied, even welding lids.

    The best thing I have found with boilermakers 146 work is a totally different mentality when it comes to safety. If it's not safe..don't do it. If it takes 1 day to do a job taking shortcuts or 1 week to do a job safely then you take a week instead of a day. I have taken this mentality to other non-union jobsites and foremen have found it hard to believe that someone would refuse to do certain work because of safety concerns. But that is the union mentality - never fear losing your job for refusing to do work that you dont consider safe. At the end of the day I consider the safety issues to be the biggest advantage of the unions here.

    The call-out for 146 gets pretty short for shop work in Jan-March, but if you want to go to fort mac or keephills there is lots of field work and they will let you weld pretty much anything you can handle.

    Live Better-Work Union

    I should listen to my own advice as right now I'm at a non-union job.

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    • #17
      Albertawelder

      I'm sure there are Provincial differences in Canada as there are between the States. For instance, Arizona is a "right to work State," or "open shop." That means a shop, warehouse, or any Unionized workplace can have less than 100% Union membership, based upon "non-compulsory" laws. On the other hand, when I lived and worked in Ohio (burrr), it's one of the stronger Union Labor States in the Country, (even though they're all moving to Arizona) so I can see how things can be different between Provinces. It's unfortunate that Labor Unions have taken such a bad rap over the years, some has been brought on themselves through corruption, others just "dried up." Having said that, what or who isn't corrupt? Just look at the Governments, (commenting on ours), executives of industries, so forth and so on. It still behooves those of us in Labor, that we support the labor movement. Trust me, they are needed more now than ever, to protect what few jobs we all have left available to us. If they could import skyscrapers, bridges and football stadiums, I'm sure they would. Sounds like the Boilermakers are seemingly sound and busy in Alberta. Have a very nice evening, and stay warm Dave
      "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

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      • #18
        Maybe a little off topic but I think it needs to be said. Aside from the safety aspect we still need unions and their organizing skills as much as ever. Case in point is the temporary offshore workers that were brought in to work northern Alberta camps. These were originally allowed to fill specific manpower shortages. Now, even though the economy has changed and projects are being cancelled/delayed, what happens. The gov't wants to fast track imigration policies to let them and thousands more in permanently. Their reasoning is that we need the population growth. I see it more as meaning the larger the unemployed workforce the easier to cut wages and benefits. Who knows, maybe the gov't will set them up with low interest loans so they can buy their own rigs. Anythings possible. Hopefully by standing together we'll have some say before this gets out of hand.

        Quote from imigration.ca
        "And with the introduction of the new Canadian Experience Class, expected to take hold later this summer, Canadian authorities will have the tools to give preference to applicants who are currently working in Canada.

        Should the new rules take effect in the weeks ahead, Canada will be elevated into the category of the world's largest employment recruiter and the immigration authorities will have access to one of the worlds largest pool of qualified applicants."

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        • #19
          OldSparks that was very interesting... very disturbing but interesting, I was totally unaware that they wanted to bring more people in.

          I think it's pretty stupid to bring more people into this country to work when we have so many people in the East that need jobs, I'm sure I'm not the only one that sees it this way.
          at home:
          2012 325 Trailblazer EFI with Excel power
          2007 302 Trailblazer with the Robin SOLD
          2008 Suitcase 12RC
          Spoolmatic 30A
          WC-24
          2009 Dynasty 200DX
          2000 XMT 304
          2008 Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52
          Sold:MM130XP
          Sold:MM 251
          Sold:CST 280

          at work:
          Invision 350MP
          Dynasty 350
          Millermatic 350P
          Retired:Shopmaster 300 with a HF-251

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          • #20
            Old Sparks

            Wow! That was interesting! Where are they bringing or allowing these immigrants from? Here in the States, we've been yelling about illegals for ever, and still are! Yes, I do advocate and agree that Labor Unions are needed more now than ever. Not only for the safety issues, but for reasons you've stated. It's interesting learning about the issues that our Canadian neighbors deal with as we do here in the U.S. Sounds like similar problems with different names and agencies to disguise the problems! Stay warm, 75 and sunny in Phoenix today!
            "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

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            • #21
              If I remember they were bringing them in from China.
              Lots of people didn't even know they were doing it until there was some type of accident, that kinda let the cat out of the bag.
              at home:
              2012 325 Trailblazer EFI with Excel power
              2007 302 Trailblazer with the Robin SOLD
              2008 Suitcase 12RC
              Spoolmatic 30A
              WC-24
              2009 Dynasty 200DX
              2000 XMT 304
              2008 Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52
              Sold:MM130XP
              Sold:MM 251
              Sold:CST 280

              at work:
              Invision 350MP
              Dynasty 350
              Millermatic 350P
              Retired:Shopmaster 300 with a HF-251

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              • #22
                I was in Lloydminster working for Boilermakers 146 3 years ago. They brought people in from Chile. I had just moved some 5000kms across the country to work there, had to pay my own plane ticket, stayed in the crappy mobile home the employer owned for $400 a month (for 1 bedroom out of 4), walked 45 mins to and from work every day. Then, these people from Chile come in and the company pays their airfare, lets them stay in the trailer next door for free and even rents a large van to drive them to and from work every day. They would actually drive past me while I was walking to work in the morning. I was actually treated worse because I was from Canada. That I could not understand.
                The foreign workers at that time were genuinely needed because of a huge labor shortage. Today the story is a little different, with layoffs becoming more common in Alberta. I know a lot of employers perfer to have the foreign workers here becuse they are more "loyal" than the people born and raised here. Meaning that because they have an employer-signed work visa they cannot go across the street to make an extra $10/hr, and have to stay with one company. Also, because their residency depends on the company, they are often more willing to "do as they are told".

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                • #23
                  Thanks to everybody who replied to this thread. However, I don't want it to turn into "these foreigners are taking our jobs." If you want to debate that topic, you'll have to start another thread.
                  "When the wise old rooster crows, the smart young rooster listens."

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