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Edmonton boilermakers apply for union certification

This is the third unionization effort from the Boilermakers Local 146 this summer.

Earlier this week, the Alberta Labour Relations Board released their latest new applications report and in it was a new application for unionization.

The application was submitted on 22 September 2022 by Lodge 146 of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, and Helpers, otherwise known as The Boilermakers. They’re applying for union certification for a group of 95 workers employed by Altex Industries Inc.

Altex is a manufacturing firm based out of Edmonton. They specialize in shell and tube heat exchanger sales and service to the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries in Western Canada.

The union is certifying for all the workers at the Altex facility, except for office, clerical, and quality control workers.

According to their current articles of agreement, this Boilermakers lodge already represents the “production Employees in the performance of all fabrication and repair work in the Employer’s shop location”.

The current union agreement between Boilermakers and Altex is a voluntary recognition. That means that the employer voluntarily recognizes the Boilermakers as the legitimate representatives for their employees.

And while that setup currently works for the two parties, that could change should the company ever change hands.

Voluntary recognition agreements preserve bargaining rights for only 6 months. Certification, on the other hand, preserves them for 2 years.

So, basically, certifying the union through the ALRB is another of level of protection for unionized workers.

And that could come in handy, as their collective agreement expires at the end of next month.

This follows three other certification applications filed by the Boilermakers earlier this summer: one for Edmonton workers, one for Fort Saskatchewan workers, and one for Nisku workers.

Since the ALRB doesn’t archive their new application reports on their website, here’s a copy of the most recent one.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news stories, focusing on politics and labour.

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