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, Edmonton Alberta. They worked out of that 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 Edmonton 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 dirty Thirties a time of depression and then into the War years played a major role in the world and the local economies. Members would have to line up outside job sites, hoping to gain employment to feed their families. The fifties, sixties and seventies provided to be more stable. During these times we started to gain some respect and dignity, but not without battles. Workers had to strike to gain fair wages; Health and Welfare, Training and Pension Plans we introduced during this period. Each Company would negotiate separately with the Local Union. Workers had to lobby the Federal and Provincial Governments to establish; Statutory Holidays, Labour Legislation, the forty-hour week, Safety Standards and the Rights of workers, all conditions of employment we presently consider a basic standard.
As the Construction & General Workers' Union, we have had to experience some of the same type of conditions. The Union was asked to make a concession and roll 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 created and introduced Bill 110. This piece of Legislation gave companies the right to form spin-off companies paying whatever wages they wanted. This was devastating to our members that relied on that type of work. The 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 whatever 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 make 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.
LIUNA Local 92 continues to grow and currently represents and services over 7,000 members across Alberta.