Calgary office

Good day Union Family

Since the mid 1970’s our Union has been located at 3804 Macleod Trail SE in Calgary. First as Local 126 and after amalgamation as Local 110. This has been decades of rent paid to the same building.

In 2019 is became clear that this location was no longer suitable for our Union. The area has become far from desirable with homeless people living in the back-parking lot, drug paraphernalia on the ground and in the hallway of the building itself. Local 110 staff had their vehicles vandalized during work hours, but the final straw came when during our monthly meeting the building manager decided to have our Members vehicles towed because we were taking up too much space. A motion was made directing Business Agent Derek Stock to start looking for a new location.

After a few months it was clear that with business property prices coming down in Calgary Local 110 maybe in a position to buy a location to house our Local in Southern Alberta. To accomplish this the Trustees of the PITT fund went to the Court of Queen’s Bench for advice and direction to see if the funds in the PITT fund could be used to buy a property. In the end this expenditure was approved for the PITT fund and the required motions were made by the PITT Trustees, Local 110, and the Asbestos Workers Building Benevolent Society.

Now after almost a year Local 110 has purchased a location at 6165 6th Street SE in Calgary. Although there are a few things needed to get the space ready to open to the Membership, today the Local took possession and we were fortunate to have a few of our Calgary Members join the Officers for a walk through and hang the temporary signage.

This is a new outlook for our Local in Southern Alberta. This location will allow Local 110 increased engagement with the Membership, Potential Members, Contractors, Clients, and the Calgary Public.

In solidarity

Kevin Lecht 

Local 110 is sad to announce the passing of Brother Carson Green Jr.

Local 110 is sad to announce that Member Carson Green Jr. passed away October 25, 2020. Brother Green has been a Local 110 member, since November 2005 and last worked with AlumaSafway until October 16, 2020.

No other details have been released at this time. We will update the information as it is made available.

Local 110 Officers, Staff and Members extend their deepest condolences to all of Brother Green’s Family & Friends.

Urethane Spray Insulation Update

Good day Union Family

As Local 110 moves into the Urethane Spray Insulation industry, we are not just focused on the current contractors doing this work in Alberta. Andrew Garrett Local 110 Client Contractor Liaison and I have been meeting with current Signatory Contractors about expanding their current business.

To date there is interest from two of our larger industrial Contractors to move into the Urethane Spray industry. One is actively seeking out an established company to purchase so they are able to enter the market quickly. This level of interest shows that the Urethane Spray Insulation industry in Alberta is a viable market that will help our Contractors grow and provide good Union jobs for our Members into the future.

Over the next few weeks, I will continue to meet with our Contractors about this opportunity to expand their business. At the same time Andrew Garrett will be engaging with the nonunion contractors about becoming a Signatory Contractor and the benefits of our Local, for both them and their employees.

Although this part of our industry will not replace standard Mechanical Insulation as then main source of employment for our Membership in these times of uncertainty every opportunity cannot needs to be explored.

In solidarity

Kevin Lecht 

Unemployed list Bylaw

Good day Union Family

The Business Agents and I have received calls regarding when a person is laid off from a job with having worked only limited hours, there is a belief that there is a bylaws that states they can be placed back on the unemployed list in the same location as prior to being dispatched.

In the early 1980’s Local 110 had a Bylaw for a short time, that a Member could work up to 14 days on a project and if laid off would retain their original spot on the unemployed list. When work slowed in the 1980’s it was found that this Bylaw caused a number of issues for Local 110 Members. First this process was abused by the Members to the point that when they took a dispatch, they would start requesting a layoff so they could be laid off before the 14 days and go back to the top of the list. Then when another call came in, usually for the same project, they would take the call and repeat the process. This resulted in the Unemployed list being incredibly stagnant with most Members not having an opportunity to take calls. The next abuse of this Bylaw came from the contractors. On short calls that would normally have layoffs around the 14 day point, they would lay off certain Members early so they could retain their spot on the list and then keep other Members until day 15, so that they would be on the bottom of the list.

This Bylaw allowed for an increase in the “buddy system” and nepotism in our Local and did not protect the majority of the Membership. In 2018, at the last Bylaws meeting a similar Bylaw was introduced and was voted down by the Members in attendance, mostly due to the issues the previous Bylaw caused. The only two current Bylaws that address Members being laid off outside of the normal layoff process are 7.9 and 7.13 and in both cases the Members is still required to sign the bottom of the Unemployed list.

7.9 Members who are legitimately laid off from a project due to medical issues can be recalled to the contractor once the Member is medically cleared for dispatch. However, a new work order from the Contractor must be placed with the Union Hall, and a new referral is needed, before the Member returns to work.

7.13 If a Member has been laid off or fired by an employer for refusing to perform work that the Member felt was unsafe, or for making complaints about safe working conditions and/or noncompliance with the Collective Agreements, or for any other unjust reasons; That Member may request in writing to the Business Manager that he investigate; and after investigation, if the Business Manager deems that the Member was unjustly laid off or fired, the Business Manager may send the Member back to the same employer upon the placing of the next call for manpower at that job site by the employer.

Since late 2019 early 2020 there has been a number of Members that have been laid off directly after orientation or a few days into their first shift. As a result of this Business Agent Derek Stock and I have been working to develop wording to be presented at the next Bylaws Meeting that will help address the issues, but not allow the orderly dispatch system to be undermined.

In solidarity

Kevin Lecht                                                                          

Business Manager

Local 110 is sad to announce the passing of Brother Maxim Tchoumakov

Local 110 is sad to announce that Member Maxim Tchoumakov passed away in a car accident October 14, 2020. Brother Maxim has been a Local 110 member, since September 2010.

No other details have been released at this time. We will update the information as it is made available.

Local 110 Officers, Staff and Members extend their deepest condolences to all of Brother Maxim’s Family & Friends.

Alcohol and Drug Testing and Case Management

Good day Union Family

Currently, Alcohol and Drug testing and after care case management is has been controlled through Construction Labour Relations Alberta (CLRA). All the after-care case management has been completed through Homewood Health EFAP program.

This system has resulted in the Unions having little to no in put on the program or how members are treated during the process. As such Local 110 has over two hundred individuals that were Members or Permit Workers that are unable to work through our Local due to the restrictions of this program. This is unacceptable the contractors with this program are creating the nonunion workforce by restricting people working for the Local.

As a result of the frustration of every Business Manager throughout Alberta, the Building Trades of Alberta is taking on their own Substance Abuse Program. This program will follow the Canadian Model for Providing a Safe Workplace and be administered through Morneau Shepell. However, there is a clear focus on getting people back to work. This includes people who have left the union due to being inactive with the CLRA program. Like everything there is a cost associated with being part of this program. However, each union will have their choice of being part of this Alcohol and Drug program or continuing with the CLRA program that is currently in place. For Local 110 that will be a choice made by the membership of our Local.

I will be doing another post shortly on the history of our current Alcohol and Drug Program and what some of the advantages could be to move, to the Morneau Shepell Program. Also, this will be a topic of the upcoming Local 110 Town Hall Meeting.

In solidarity

Kevin Lecht                                                                          

Business Manager

Spray Urethane Foam Insulation

Good day Union Family

With our Union moving through these changing times with uncertain work outlook, out Local needs to focus on areas of our industry that have been lost to the Union or have completely developed outside of our Union. One of these areas is Spray Urethane Foam Insulation. This application is used in residential, commercial, and industrial applications, most of our members have most likely seen this product used on storage tanks with a black protective coating applied overtop.

Although industry in Alberta has slowed a number of companies that provide Spray Urethane Foam Insulation services are busier than ever before. Unfortunately, most of the employees in this industry are not seeing the benefits of this increased workload most do not have benefits of any kind and none that we have talked to have pensions of any kind. In addition to these financial short comings most employees receive limited training with substandard working conditions. This is where Local 110 fits in, we can provide a comprehensive benefit package, an established pension and/or RRSP program, and agreements that provide quality working conditions.

So, how are we looking to move into this industry? Already our Client Contractor Liaison Andrew Garrett is making contact with existing contractors to better understand their needs and start a comprehensive top down organizing program. However, it is difficult to move an industry to unionization without additional outside pressure. That is why I am meeting with our signatory contractors looking to help them grow their current business into the Spray Urethane Foam Insulation market, most of the companies with firestop divisions or coatings divisions have some interest. As well the Trustees of the Training trust are looking at helping with or covering the full cost of CUFCA (Canadian Urethane Foam Contractors Association Inc.) Installers Certification. This will help ensure our members are properly certified to complete these installations.

This may look to be our union pushing into an unrelated industry, but this is not the case a number of our sister unions in Canada have Spray Urethane Foam as a part of there collective agreement, with hundreds if not thousands of pensionable hours completed each year. There is no reason our members are missing out on these jobs.

Lastly, since this industry is dominated by small contractors, this could be an opportunity for members that would like to open their own company. If any members are interested in opening a company in this industry Local 110 is willing to do what we can, to help make your business successful.

In solidarity

Kevin Lecht                                                                          

Business Manager

Thanksgiving Notice

Good day Union Family

Just a quick reminder that Monday October 12 the offices in both Calgary and Edmonton will be closed, and the Staff and Officers will have the day off for Thanksgiving.

The Business Agents and I can still be contacted by Email or on our cell phone in the case of emergencies.

Have a joyful long weekend

In solidarity

Kevin Lecht 

Business Manager 

UCP Right to Work Policy 3

Good day Union Family

There has been an upswing in Albertans being interested in politics over the last few years. Unfortunately, a lot of the new interest is focused in the United States on what Mr. Trump will tweet next, or what Mr. Trudeau will do next, because of this I know a lot of people have not noticed that the UCP is about to have their 2020 AGM October 16-17.

At the UCP AGM there are a total of 30 party policies that are to be voted on. These policies will direct the party into the future and provide direction to the current Alberta Government. Some of these policies are possibly positive for Albertans such as Policy 26 (Use the abundance of Alberta’s natural gas resources to encourage downstream growth in petrochemicals which could be used in the manufacturing of a vast array of plastics.) However, others are clearly negative like Policy 8 (Withdraw its share of funds from the existing Canada Pension Plan and start an Alberta Pension Plan.)

These are not the issues I want to focus on, the issue I would like to focus on is Policy 3 (Make Alberta a right-to-work jurisdiction.) First question is what does this actually mean? In basic terms employees are entitled to work for a unionized employer, paid at the same unionized rates, be protected by the union, without actually joining the union or paying union dues. Second question is what does this result in? A union that is required to utilize its resources for employees that are not paying into the union, will eventually not have the financial resources to provide representation to the members, to process grievances, to bargain properly, or provide legal council when needed. The Union becomes a shell that exists not for the needs of the membership, but for the needs of the organization that the members work for. To see examples of this we can look across the boarder the United States that has made a number of states right to work jurisdictions and the results can be seen in some of our Sister Locals, such as Local 66.

In most right to work states the members are paid less then members in neighboring states that are not right to work jurisdictions. The nonunion workers in these states are usually still paid less than the unionized workers. Usually due to the Unions inability to bargain wages in the collective agreements can be rolled back or in most cases are held without raises for in some cases decades. This usually results in wage packages that do not keep up with the cost of living moving people into the sector of “working poor” that are forced to rely on Government programs to provide the basic needs. This has negative affects on all aspects of the economy, such as real estate due to less and less people having the income to qualify for mortgages.

There is the possibility if the Provincial Government enacted right to work legislation that a charter challenge could be launched and be successful. However, this would have to come from a large group of unions due to the cost and complexity of the challenge. This would take a very long time and there is no guarantee that a charter challenge would be successful or if successful what the final outcomes would be for Alberta. The only other way to ensure that Alberta does not become a right to work jurisdiction is to make sure that Policy 3 never becomes part of the UCP mandate. To do this it must be voted down at this AGM on October 16-17, 2020.

To ensure this policy is voted down our members and like-minded Albertans must be there to do it. So, we need to be at the AGM. This requires our members to buy a UPC membership that can be completed at https://www.unitedconservative.ca/take-action/membership/ and then sign up for the UPC AGM that can be completed at https://www.ucpagm.ca/. If you feel comfortable to speak against this policy please do, your perspective may be a shift for change in others. However, if you are not comfortable speaking that is fine, we still need you to attend and vote to stop Policy 3 from moving any further.

This strategy of buying memberships and voting at AGM’s has worked in Alberta previously and can work again if our members work together.

In solidarity

Kevin Lecht                                                                          

Business Manager

Local 110 2020 Elections

Good day Union Family

As we all know 2020 has been a crazy year. However, this is an election year for our Union and the International General Executive Board have provided temporary amendments to the International Constitution and Bylaws to ensure a fair democratic process, while ensuring the health and safety of our Membership.

This year’s election requires that the election be held without having the normal nomination process. As such notice of nominations will be mailed to all Journeyman Members in good standing with Local 110 near the end of October 2020. Instruction for nominations and acceptance of nomination will be in that letter. Members will have 15 days from the date of mailing to mail in their nomination and acceptance of nomination to the Local 110 office. These letters must be mailed into the Local union office and cannot be returned in person. Nominations and acceptance of nominations will be held in a locked box with the only key held by the members of the election committee. On the 15th day at end of business the election committee will open the box and verify the nominations and acceptances of nomination ensuring that both the Member nominated, and the nominator are Members in good standing of Local 110.

Eligibility for the offices of Local 110 will be as per Article XX of the International Constitution and Bylaws. However, due to the inability for Local unions to hold monthly General Membership Meetings the requirement of having to attend the majority of monthly General Membership Meetings in the past twelve months has been temporarily suspended and will not be a factor in eligibility for this election.

All ballots will be mailed to Journeyman Members in good standing and must be returned by mail. There will not be the option to return ballots in person or vote in person as there has been in the past.

This election is completely dependent on the mail service, to ensure that you receive all the required notices and ballots Local 110 must have your current mailing address. Please contact the Union office, in Edmonton or Calgary, to ensure that we have your current mailing address. Normally we have between five and fifteen letters returned each day due to incorrect address for Members in our system.

This has been just a short overview of this year’s election process. Additional information will be provided to Journeyman Members in good standing as per the International Constitution and Bylaws, through the required mail outs once an Election Committee has been appointed.

In solidarity

Kevin Lecht                                                                          

Business Manager