Who we are
Construction and General Workers' Union Local 92 is one of the most progressive and fastest growing unions of labourers and construction workers in North America. One of the facets of this initiative is the Organizing Department of Local 92. This departments' mandate is to research construction sectors and Local 92's market share in them, strategize aggressive marketing campaigns and execute them in the acquisition of new client contractors. Secondary to this the Organizing Department represents Local 92 and its interests at trade shows and career fairs across the province, promoting the union with the distribution of information about what we stand for and what we offer to the lives and families of blue-collar workers, here in Alberta.
What Makes Us Successful
The real strength in our efforts lies largely in the active participation and involvement of our membership. Their eyes and ears are the looking glass which contribute to the focus of our campaigns and keep us up to date on the activities of our targets. In addition to this we work hand in hand with the First Nations liaison here at Local 92 building on our working partnership with Treaty companies throughout the province.
About Our Team
Our Organizers undergo intense training and are screened against the highest standards. We are proud of the team we have brought together, as they represent all walks of life and have been selected from within our own membership. The department is headed by Sonny Bourque, and supported by Don Nugent, and Larry Villeneuve.
Helpful Answers to Common Questions about Organizing
Often during the organizing campaign of a workplace there are questions that arise and fear of reprisal that the workers experience. Here are a few of them:
1. What does it mean to be certified?
Becoming certified means that the union becomes your exclusive bargaining agent. Because we approach the employer with the strength of all our membership, we are far better able to negotiate pay raises, safer work sites, health benefits, pension contributions, and opportunities for training and skill development through what's called collective agreement.
2. Why do I need a collective agreement?
Without a collective agreement, your employer can take away benefits, avoid training and ticketing you, neglect your future by failing to provide pension contributions, pay you when he feels like it and take disciplinary action against anyone at anytime. Collective agreements are contracts that protect you and provide better working conditions by making conditions of employment enforceable.
3. Will the union take away any of my current benefits?
No! Unions strive to improve wages and working conditions, it is important to have these conditions recognized in a collective agreement. They are only enforceable if a contract is recognized by the Labour Board.
4. Do I have any say in what goes into a collective agreement?
YES! All negotiations are done in consultation with the workers. All collective agreements are ratified by the employees before they are signed by the employer and the union.
5. Why do I have to sign a petition/or union card?
The Labour Board requires that each worker supporting the union sign a petition or union affiliation card that says, "In applying for a membership, I understand that the Union intends to apply to be certified as my exclusive bargaining".
6. Will my employer or boss find out that I signed a petition or union card?
NO! Confidentiality is our top priority. The only people who know that you signed are yourself, the union representative and the Labour Board and they are bound by law to conceal your identity. Almost all card signing is done in the employee's home to protect his/her privacy.
7. Is there anyone else who will know that I signed a petition card?
That is up to you. The union will never tell anyone that you signed. The Labour Board is bound to protect your privacy, especially to your employer. So that leaves you, to be aware that every employee might not want union representation. Those individuals usually sit in the highest paying positions, have the most company benefits, or have been with the employer for a long time.
8. When does our company become certified?
The union becomes certified to represent the workers after a vote is had on site with supervision from the Labour Board. If 51% of the workers voting vote in favour of the union the company is then legally bound to engage into a collective agreement. Or if the cards signed in the petition represent more than 75% of the workforce which will allow the Labour Board to enforce what's called an automatic certification.
9. Will I have to strike or wobble if the employer does not cooperate?
NO! Our collective agreements are in place to improve the quality of life for workers. Not working means no paycheck! The union will negotiate with the employer while the members continue to work, and further to that in our collective agreements we include a, "No strike or Wobble Clause". Together we will bring employers over to our side and develop a relationship in which we all prosper. After all, the employers success in his field means the opportunity for employees to continue working. Win Win is what we work for.
Remember that when you sign a petition card, not only are you a part of unionizing your workplace, you are also protecting yourself against unfair labour practices.
When you sign a petition/union card, the union commits to protect you with legal representation, if you are discharged from work unfairly.
The employer cannot by law engage in any activity that interferes with a union's campaign to organize a company, here is a list of things your employer cannot do, but, will definitely try to get away with:
a) Interrogation of employees to find out their union feelings
b) Surveillance of organizing activities or of employees
c) Promises or granting wage increases or other benefits to discourage support for union affiliation
d) Threats of retaliation against union sympathisers, such as loss of job, pay cuts, or benefits or threats of closing down operations because of unionizing
e) Suspending, transferring, or disciplining employees without just cause
If you have experienced any of the above it is important that you write down details of the event such as names of people involved, place where the exchange took place, times and dates, other people who may have witnessed the incident, what was said, how it was said (whether) aggressively or passively) and how you felt after what you heard or experienced, i.e. Whether you felt scared, threatened, intimidated or anything similar.
An easy way of remembering everything that employers cannot do is with the acronym SPIT, which stands for:
a) No Spying
b) No Promised
c) No Interrogations
d) No Threats and Discrimination based on union affiliation
Please feel free to contact us at the office 780-426-6630 or at any of the numbers indicated below and lets see how we can work together to raise the standard of working conditions at your work site.
Richard (Sonny) Bourque - 780-983-0681
Don Nugent - 780-235-7751
David (DJ) Paquet - 780-233-1731