BC carpenters separate from international union

    VANCOUVER, Nov. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - A decade long struggle by BC carpenters
to break from their international union and establish a Canadian construction
union has been won.
    5,000 members of the Construction, Maintenance and Allied Workers Union,
representing the great majority of unionized carpenters in B.C., have voted by
a margin of 76% to approve the terms of a BC Labour Board report on terms of
separation with the Washington based United Brotherhood of Carpenters and
    CMAW also represents industrial shop workers and shipyard workers in the
Lower Mainland and school board workers in the BC interior, and it is
affiliated with the 150,000 member Communications, Energy and Paperworkers
Union of Canada.
    "This brings a long struggle for Canadian unionism in construction to a
conclusion," said Jan Noster, President of the CMAW. "We have gained our
freedom at great cost, but it is absolutely worth it to have a democratic
union in our own hands. Construction workers need a Canadian union on an
industrial model, and now they have CMAW as that union. We are celebrating
today, but tomorrow we will be organizing."
    "This settlement is historic for Canadian construction workers," said
Dave Coles, national President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers
Union of Canada. "BC carpenters as of today are a Canadian union with a model
of all-employee organizing that we believe is the way of the future for
workers in the Canadian construction industry."
    "Now we can turn our attention to building our Canadian union," said
outgoing president of the BC Provincial Council of Carpenters, Tony
    The BCLRB recommendations that allow CMAW members to break their ties
with the international union require the BC carpenters to pay the UBCJ
$6 million. Both CMAW and UBCJ will have the right to represent carpenters in
BC, although over 95% of carpenter certifications in BC are held by CMAW.

For further information:

For further information: Dave Coles, (613) 299-5628

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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