Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

25,000 Alberta tradespeople poised for strike; 95% in favour of Job Action

25,000 Alberta tradespeople poised for strike
Last Updated: Monday, July 23, 2007 | 12:20 PM MT

Alberta tradespeople in five unions have voted 95 per cent in favour of taking strike action, a move that threatens to bring the province's construction industry to a halt as early as the end of the week.

Some 25,000 skilled workers, including pipefitters, plumbers, millwrights and electricians, cast ballots earlier this month in strike votes that could result in construction halting at unionized work sites in the oilsands and Alberta's two largest cities.

The results were released Monday.

Barry Salmon, spokesman for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, said the results will now go to the Alberta Labour Relations Board. If it's not contested, the unions could be in a legal strike position as of Friday afternoon, he said.

Workers want more money and improved conditions in places such as work camps, he said. Employers should also be providing flights from Fort McMurray to Edmonton and Calgary on weekends, he said.

"There are concerns about what it means to be a skilled tradesman in Alberta right now. With the majority of work happening in Fort McMurray, what we're looking at is highly skilled tradesmen that are being asked to leave their families," he said.

A spokesman for the employer Construction Labour Relations said some of the workers are being offered wage increases of 25 per cent over four years.
Negotiations are continuing, he said.

The looming labour unrest among trades is the first in Alberta since 1982, when the government of Peter Lougheed created legislation grouping 10 building trades unions that negotiate with employer associations for contracts that apply across the province.

Under the province's labour law, none of the unions may take a strike vote unless 60 per cent of unions with unsettled contracts opt for a strike vote.
With files from the Canadian Press

Oilsandstruth.org is not associated with any other web site or organization. Please contact us regarding the use of any materials on this site.

Tar Sands Photo Albums by Project

Discussion Points on a Moratorium

User login


Syndicate content