March 13, 2014
The Building Trades of Alberta calls for more stringent oversight of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
The Building Trades of Alberta calls for more stringent oversight of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program Recent abuses of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program have raised concerns among Albertans. The Building Trades of Alberta supports strict adherence to the rules of the Temporary Foreign Worker program as an essential plank in Alberta's economic growth – while insisting on the protection of Canadians' jobs. We, together with our signatory contractors, fully support the principal that every available and qualified Canadian should be given the first opportunity and access to Canadian jobs before any consideration is given to access or procure foreign workers. Secondly, we recognize that we must continue to work hard to bring young Canadians and under employed Canadians into the Building Trades, in order to grow and secure a local Canadian workforce of the future. We have a collective obligation as leaders of the unionized construction sector, to ensure there are ample apprenticeship opportunities available in the trades, for young Canadians and others such as Aboriginal Canadians, women and veterans. While some progress is being made on this longer term solution a more deliberate and intentional effort to create these opportunities must be demonstrated, by the owners and contractors that utilize the services of our tradespersons. It's important to recognize, however, the economic effects of skilled trades' shortages in Alberta. That is why, over the last several years the BTA, our member unions and contractor/owner partners have used the TFW Program for acute periodic shortages in specific skilled trades. We have ensured strict adherence and compliance with all of the rules and protocols specified in the TFW Program Memorandum of Understanding. Specifically, that means ensuring effective methods are in place to advertise and promote Alberta job opportunities to all qualified Canadians. It also means ensuring all workers brought in through our programs are treated with the utmost dignity and respect and are compensated in accordance with the identical terms and conditions of the effective collective agreements received by our members.
More recent events in Alberta and other parts of Canada have highlighted and identified the misuse and abuse of the TFW Program by industries and parties not affiliated with Building Trades construction stakeholders. In these cases we are actively advocating to the appropriate government representatives, both federally and provincially, that the abusers are held accountable and dealt with accordingly. We understand and recognize that these recent abuses have garnered the frustration and suspicion amongst the individual members of the Building Trades Unions to the point where some have chosen to take independent actions to protest their lack of faith in the system. While we are respectful of these views and opinions, we will continue to support the necessary and proper utilization of the TFW Program when appropriate. We will also continue our efforts to lobby the responsible government agencies and advocate for more stringent oversight and compliance with the objectives and intent of the TFW Program. This statement has been prepared by the Building Trades of Alberta, on behalf of the Business Managers of the affiliated Building Trades Local Unions.
For more information contact:
11635 – 160th Street
Edmonton, Alberta, T5M 3Z3
Warren Fraleigh dropping the puck, Oil Kings vs Kootenay Ice
To view the interview with Warren Fraleigh, Executive Director, Building Trades of Alberta, refer to
We shoveled a lot of sludge that day!
Brothers Bourgeois Stamhuis, Chant, Kyle, Stamhuis is the owner of this house.
Brothers Kent, Wilson and Phil Bourgeois helping out 50 + - member Norman Suitor, High River
Building Trades hard at work making a difference
Ironworkers Local 725, UA 496 and SMW LOCAL 8 in cleanup efforts in Bowness Calgary
Rod Calver Oakley Cooper apprentice
Thomas Emmes, Phil Bourgeois taking a breather
Building Trades Works to Support Alberta Flood Recovery
Warren Fraleigh, Executive Director of the Building Trades of Alberta, presents a cheque to Lauren Patterson, Manager of Appeals for the Canadian Red Cross in the amount of $200,000.00. The monies, donated by the Building Trades of Alberta and their affiliated provincial and international Trade Unions, are earmarked for Alberta flood relief. Warren was joined by members of the Building Trades Unions for the presentation. Left to right: Ian Robb- UNITE HERE Local 47, Scott McBride- Labourers Local 92, Jim Conway- Plasterers and Cement Masons Local 222, John Tackaberry- Painters Local 177 and Larry Matychuk- Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 488
The Building Trades of Alberta (BTA) and our affiliated Local Unions would like to send our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to all those in Southern Alberta affected by the devastating and catastrophic flooding that has occurred. Many of our concerned members throughout the province have been inquiring as to what assistance or contributions we are making to ease the burden on those affected by this tragedy or how they can contribute personally.
The Building Trades Executive Board made a strategic decision to provide financial support from the BTA to the Red Cross with monies being earmarked for Alberta flood relief . The services of the BTA were then to be utilized to coordinate all other union donations to create a lump sum donation. On Monday morning the Building Trades of Alberta presented an initial donation of $200,000.00 to the Red Cross. Since then, additional commitments for another $85,000.00 have been received up to the time of writing and will likely continue to increase throughout the week. This would not have been possible with out the support and generosity of our affiliated Local and International Unions and the Provincial and Canadian Building Trades organizations.
On Tuesday we were also notified by the Premiers Office in Calgary that a request for volunteers to assist in the cleanup efforts would be forthcoming. Business Managers will be notified to appeal for volunteers when the timing is appropriate. The Building Trades of Alberta is proud to demonstrate to our community that we are always available to assist in times of urgent need and play a vital role in Alberta’s emergency response network.
Read the Building Trades of Alberta Press Release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28 2013
BUILDING TRADES OF ALBERTA
USING OUR SKILLS TO RESTORE AND REBUILD IN CALGARY AND SOUTHERN ALBERTA
Edmonton, AB. Like all Albertan’s, the 75,000 members of the Building Trades of Alberta are devastated to see the destruction brought by the floods in Southern Alberta. Our hearts go out to the families and all of those who’ve been affected.
Our members have the skills that are needed to get Calgary and Southern Alberta moving again – and to get people back in their homes. We will put those skills to good use.
We’re coordinating with the City of Calgary and the Premier's Office to ensure our volunteers get to the places where help is needed most. Our electricians, plumbers, carpenters and other vital trades are volunteering their time to help families secure their homes and our members are pledging to ensure businesses will get up and running again. We are already effectively working on the ground with our member volunteers on the difficult cleanup efforts in progress. Ken Jones, President of the Southern Alberta Building Trades Council stated, "It’s hard to comprehend the devastation until you see it in person and understand the impact it has had on people’s lives."
Warren Fraleigh is Executive Director of Building Trades of Alberta: "I’m proud of the initiatives that our members have taken in fanning out across Calgary as teams of volunteers this week. And I’m pleased that we were able to offer people in southern Alberta immediate assistance with money donated by our Provincial and International Unions last weekend."
The Building Trades of Alberta has made a $285,000 donation to the Red Cross Alberta Flood Relief efforts.
We’ve committed to responding to this disaster in every way we can. And we’re equally committed to stand by our fellow Albertans over the long haul in rebuilding. Premier Alison Redford has said that it might take 10 years. Building Trades of Alberta members will be there every step of the way, with our trade promise of safety, quality and value.
For more information on our volunteers’ efforts in Calgary, please call:
Warren Fraleigh, Executive Director, Building Trades of Alberta, 780-887-3433
Ken Jones, President, Southern Alberta Building Trades Council, 403-874-1496
Building Trades of Alberta has 16 trade unions with 22 local offices across Alberta. We have over 75,000 union members in the trades.
Building Trades of Alberta unions provide a number of services for their members, including:
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