Earlier this week, the Alberta Labour Relations Board released their latest New Applications Report. In the report is a new application for union certification in Alberta.
The application was filed on 10 July 2023 by Local 1 of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, also known as Bricklayers Local #1.
This union is applying on behalf of all maintenance refractory bricklayers employed by Dragon Industrial Services Ltd.
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Located in the city of Leduc, Dragon specializes in refractory installations and high-angle stack work, through an open-shop alternative in the refractory market.
Refractory businesses are responsible for building the interior lining of high heat equipment, such as furnaces and kilns.
According to the application, if the union certification is approved, it would apply to 12 bricklayers employed with Dragon.
I reached out to Ken Coghill the business manager of Local 1 to see if he had further the information on the unionization drive.
According to Coghill, several bricklayers at Dragon had reached out to Local 1 for support and assistance, which led to Local 1 beginning the unionization process.
Coghill told me that they managed to get 8 of the 12 bricklayers at Dragon to sign petition cards, far more than the 40% required by Alberta law.
He then claimed that once the employer found out, however, they filed a voluntary recognition with Local 1999 of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. UBC Local 1999 is known for being a company-friendly union.
Earlier this year, the executive board of the Canadian Office of the North America’s Building Trades Unions issued a statement that said UBC Local 1999 “seeks to take away our jurisdiction and undermine our ability to create a highly specialized and skilled workforce.”
Naturally, Bricklayers Local 1 objected to this development, arguing that their petition cards were signed prior to the voluntary recognition arranged by the employer, which should give them more legitimacy. Plus, the voluntary recognition, according to Coghill, had no signed cards.
The ALRB has scheduled a hearing for this application for 21 July 2023. The employer will have an opportunity then to present arguments for why certification shouldn’t occur at that location.
Since the ALRB doesn’t archive their new application reports, here’s a copy of the most recent one.