The Battle for Union Supremacy in the Oilsands IBEW


New Member
:evil: CLAC attacks! Flyer still going around the sites!

Posted By: syncruzerbase
Date: Wednesday, 20 April 2005, at 10:50 p.m.

Christian Labour Association of Canada


Last Thursday, the Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB) received an application for certification from the IBEW for all electricians working for Firestone. These are the implications:

- The IBEW must show that 40% of the electricians signed a petition to make this application stand. The ALRB is investigating this and a report will come out by Thursday.

- If the IBEW does not meet the 40% threshold, the application goes away.

- If the IBEW has 40%, there will be a hearing before the Board to deal with objections to the application. Hearing has tentatively been set for April 12.

- In all likelihood, there will be a number of objections, one of which is that there is a CLAC collective agreement in place which bars this application.

- The ALRB may decide to have a vote taken regardless of the objections and have these votes sealed and filed - to be opened or destroyed after all the objections have been dealt with. In that case you can expect to vote on this application in the early part of the next shift.

Before you leave and while you are on your turnaround, CLAC urges you to think about the following:

1. Why would you consider joining a union that doesn't have its own house in order? Currently the union is under trusteeship and controlled by its head office in the U.S., the newly elected "reform" group has been kicked out and is under discipline and Tim Brower :evil: (a CLAC member, incidentally, who obviously can't make up his mind as to which side of the fence he wants to be on) is in charge. Just look up:

2. The IBEW is in such chaos, that it couldn't even ratify its agreement and it was imposed on them through arbitration

3. The electricians working for Firestone are part of a larger Firestone workforce. What will be the affect of one BTU group in the middle of all CLAC trades working for the same employer? Do you really think that Firestone will continue with its electricians???

4. CLAC's trades work with each other and not against each other. The jurisdictional style of IBEW working is unsatisfactory and non-productive.

5. CLAC's approach to labour relations works and is able to respond to site situations. The IBEW cannot negotiate special site conditions or benefits because it negotiates an employer organization. In all likelihood you will lose the retention bonus, the shift bonus and the travel monies that are part of the project agreement. They are not in the IBEW agreement.

6. CLAC's wage package is relatively on par. With the bonuses an electrician is at $33.10 compared to $33.13 for the IBEW. You will hear many examples of how the IBEW is superior with double time etc., but remember that overtime is very limited. People had to travel by bus to Fort McMurray on 4+3 (5+2) cycles - no overtime. The CLAC 10+4 cycle provides longer time off with reasonable overtime.

7. CLAC has a RSP program that is personally administered. The IBEW has a defined benefit plan (read Tuesday's Edmonton Journal about this, business section) that is underfunded and the high contributions to the pension do not allow you to get a great return but to help those who are going to retire in the next few years. Who knows what you will get when you retire? Not only that, but you need to stay with them for a long time to get any benefits (vesting).

The IBEW has a RRSP plan as well, but it only kicks in on overtime hours. Little overtime means little RRSP.

8. Beginning apprentices have the most to lose if you switch. Wage rates are at par with the IBEW without any of the top-ups.

9. The second group to lose are those who are members of other locals since the layoff procedure is pretty clear. First, permits, second, members of other locals and third, local 424 members. All of you from the east should think twice about the implications.

You are free to make whatever choice you want, but make it an informed choice that looks after your long-term welfare. You know that CLAC has work at Suncor, OPTI/Nexen, and elsewhere throughout the province - in fact throughout Canada. You can take your CLAC card anywhere in the country, keep the same RSP program and benefit plan. With all the work being contemplated in BC and elsewhere, this is a great CLAC benefit. Work where you want, for whom you want and when you want. No fines, no discipline - just freedom. It doesn't get any better.


Time Out
Jan 9, 2003
RE: The Battle for Union

CLAC is not a real union. They are a company union. They rarely if ever file grievences. They are scum pure and simple.

I read in the Globe and mail 2 weeks ago about all this going on in the oil patch. What CLAC fails to mention they think 10% extra an hour is what they want their workers in the patch to make for overtime not 1.5 or double time like legitimate unions.

Jo Canadian

Council Member
Mar 15, 2005
PEI...for now
Re: The Battle for Union Supremacy in the Oilsands

ooooooooo. I'd have to get the name of the union my buddy worked in when he was working at the camp. He's usually quite outspoken and speaks out if he sees things that aren't right. In the end, that only got him jacked around and fired, especially after he complained about racism. He may be white but the Lebaneese running many top levels of the things weren't very accomodating to non lebs. If I get hold of him at some point I'll get the name.


New Member
May 21, 2006
RE: The Battle for Union Supremacy in the Oilsands

heres a IBEW story i work in fort mcmurry and live here also now i was employed at a job site the contractor had a supervisor who hired one of his buddys and i got laidoff didnt matter to the IBEW "tim bower" that i was a resident and the other guy wasnt and didnt matter that i was there before the "buddy" got hired .didnt matter that this "buddy" was a non resident
so in the end Unions are only as good as the members and the membership stinks
there is no power in unions anymore they cant strike
so they have no power against the "clients" ie companys
so to make them "feel" good they pick on the membership

and yes im a little pissed off
when can i work for less money and benifits is right around the door
cause when they let this happen "my situation"
it's the end for them