Dear Union Family
It is clear to everyone that our world has been changing in ways that no one could have predicted even a few short months ago. Anyone that watches the news knows that COVID has practically ground our economy to a halt, but on top of that the price of oil is hitting our Province hard and the impact of the price of oil will carry on with us long after the COVID restrictions have been lifted.
Yesterday, I was involved with a phone meeting with the General Presidents Maintenance Committee (GPMC). This is the group of International Representatives that bargain and sign the General Presidents Maintenance Agreement (GPMA) and National Maintenance Agreement (NMA) for most Trade Unions in Alberta. This meeting was about the requests from a number of Clients throughout the Province asking for cost savings to be provided by Contractors involved in maintenance work on their projects. To go along with the inhouse employee and wage reductions that are taking place.
It was echoed by all of the Alberta Business Managers on the call that a reduction in wages will result in further issues with supplying trades people for ongoing maintenance and turnarounds. I believe that the Clients and Contractors already understand this and would prefer to hold the wage as much as possible, but in the end that leaves few and somewhat complicated options to provide cost savings to Clients. I am sure that in the coming weeks we will see something from the GPMC to address the concerns from Clients, because this is not an issue that can be put on hold or ignored.
These requests from Clients have also produced pressure from nonunion and alternative Unions. CLAC, from what I understand, has taken an unprecedented leap forward in membership representation by having an impacted membership vote, on a 5% total package wage reduction for all long-term maintenance work across Alberta. Although this was an online vote and I do not know the number of CLAC members that participated, I have been told that the 5% reduction was ratified and will be coming off of their members cheques shortly. This obviously provides more pressure in the ongoing race to the bottom happening though out Alberta’s skilled trades industry, and further devalues the contribution of Trades People as an essential workforce in Alberta.
As Local 110 is provided with more information I will continue to pass it on through our Facebook pages, Blast emails and Business Manager Updates on our website.
International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, Local 110