On January 12, 1925 the International Hod Carriers' Building and Common Laborers' Union Local 92 was chartered and later signed on February 1, 1926. The Local on December 14, 1976 had the charter name changed to the Construction & General Workers' Union Local No. 92, as we are named today.
In 1925 the Hod Carriers' and Common Laborers' made their start in an office in the Labor Temple at 102 Avenue and 100 Street. They worked out of this office until a fire destroyed the building around 1927 - 1928. They moved into the Canadian Permanent Building located at 10126-100 Street until 1951. This building is still standing today. They then moved into the Civic Block at 99 Street and 101 Avenue. This was the City Hall in those days and later became the City Police Station. They then moved in 1961 to the Rawliegh Building located at 107 Street and Jasper Avenue. This building is still standing today. They then moved into the Union Center, which was later named the Hugh Ross Building; this is the existing building we are in today. We established a Satellite office in Fort McMurray in 1975 through 1980; this office was run out of a house trailer, then to a suite on Franklin Avenue by the Bank of Nova Scotia in 1980 through 1997 and then to our present location on Centennial Drive.
As the Hod Carriers' Building and Common Laborers' Union, we went through many world and local events and changes. The dirth Thirties a time of depression and then into the War years played a major roll in the world and the local economies. Memebers would have to line up outside job sites, hoping to gain employment to feed their families. They then went into a more stable time of the fifties, Sixties and Seventies. During these times we started to gain some respect and dignity, but not without battles. They had to strike and try to negotiate fair wages and introduce Health and Welfare, Training and Pension Plans. Each Company would negotiate separately with the Local Union. They had to lobby the Federal and Provincial Governments to establish some kind of conditions such as Statutory Holidays, Labour Legislation, the forty-hour week, Safety Standards and the Rights of workers.
As the Construction & General Workers' Union, we have had to experience some of the same type conditions. Things were well for the Local Union in the earlier days of the new charter. We were going through a construction boom and we stood proud and showed our strength. We made demands that were met but later came back to bite us. We were living a very comfortable life style and thought nothing could change. The Contractors came to the Unions and said that the Clients are not happy with the costs of getting their business done. The Union was asked to make a concession and role back the wages in the Commercial sector. The members of all the affiliates of the Building Trades turned this down. The Clients and Contractors went to the Provincial Government for help. The Provincial Government came up with a piece of Legislation called Bill 110. This Legislation gave the Companies the right to form spin-off Companies. This was devastating to our members that relied on that type of work. The Industrial sector died off and the Collective Agreement became a non-existent thing. The Local and other Unions tried to organize the new Companies established by the Contractors. If they were successful organizing the Company, they would change their name the next day and tell the workers if they did not like it they could quit or get fired. The only work that would come into play would be under project terms. This was a sad time for labour and a restless time. The Unions would go out and demonstrate against the Government and set up information picket lines on job sites hoping to make changes. These actions sometimes ended up with members being arrested by the local authorities.
The industry was making changes and did what ever they could do to keep the Unions out. The course of action that the Clients, Contractors and Government took was establishing Legislation, the Merit Shop, Employment agencies and began to utilize Unions of convenience with sub-standard agreements. Their members did not ratify these agreements; the Unions battled to meke them credible to the people they represented. We lost market shares in different sectors and have been making some headway in trying to re-establish these markets. This has been a long up hill battle, but we must continue to organize and look to our members to help in the cause.
Over the years the Local Union membership had increases and drops in membership. At the peek of Construction boom of the seventies and early eighties, our membership was at about 5800 members and decreased to about 1800 members. Even with the recent construction boom our membership rose to around 7500 members and currently we stand at about 6284 members.