IBEW Attempts to Fight Public Contempt

Posted by on Sep 4, 2012 in News | 0 comments

According to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Canadian public has a negative opinion of unions. But their organization took steps to change that during their All Canada Progress Meeting in August. With approximately 90 unions in Canada, the IBEW represents roughly 60,000 apprentices and journeymen in various trades and contracting industries.
The IBEW are looking to increase their market share, especially in construction, and have implemented a number of programs to help. The Code of Excellence program is one such initiative, training workers to be as productive as they can while following the collective agreement and maintaining safety. According to IBEW first district Canada international vice-president Phil Flemming, the union seeks to be the electrical union of choice for projects across Canada.

The annual All Canada Progress trades meeting in Halifax is an opportunity for the organization to rally around political action and to showcase speakers from various companies that the IBEW works with in order to talk about issues affecting unions throughout the country.

Flemming is concerned about the implications to labour relations that will result from the recent ordering of airline and postal workers back to work by the government. The union has also targeted Bill C-377, which would require labour organizations to release financial statements to the government which would ultimately be available to the public. According to Flemming, the IBEW is accountable to their membership but does not feel that their finances need to be accountable to the general public or the government.

The conference also focused on the topics of apprenticeship training, the changing employment landscape across the nation, and deregulation.