Elections Have Consequences
While CLAC remains politically nonpartisan, we will always have members’ backs when it comes to government initiatives that affect them
By Dennis Perrin, Prairies Director
Much has happened in the Prairies that impacts members since my last report in the September issue of the Guide. During that time, we’ve seen a provincial election take place in Manitoba. CLAC takes a keen interest in elections, as elected officials at all levels have the ability to make laws that impact members in every sector.
On October 3, the NDP won the provincial election in Manitoba, making leader Wab Kinew the first First Nations premier of a Canadian province. This is a historic event that deserves celebration, regardless of which party you associate or identify with.
Earlier this year, back on May 29, the United Conservative Party (UCP) won the provincial election in Alberta. This is the second win for the UCP in four years, this time led by Premier Danielle Smith.
CLAC works with governments of all parties to lobby for the interests of members. But unlike most other unions, we are distinctly nonpartisan, which means we will never spend members’ dues on supporting candidates or political parties. We also will not lend time and energy to their campaigns.
What we will do, however, is work with governments of all stripes on public policy that benefits members. This could be anything from fair and open tendering in the construction industry, enhanced funding for members working in public healthcare settings, health and safety legislation, or policy that promotes and enhances skilled trades and technologies.
The simple stroke of a pen in a legislative assembly impacts every aspect of our work and personal lives. That’s why CLAC stays busy monitoring legislative initiatives and policy proposals and makes it a priority that worker concerns are addressed and taken into consideration by governments across Canada.
Fighting Inflation at the Bargaining Table
In addition to our lobby work, CLAC is proud to have negotiated a number of healthy wage increases for members across the Prairies in recent months to help them cope with inflation. We’ve also seen a number of collective agreement renewals for members performing pipeline work in Alberta.
While the majority of the recent pipeline activity has slowed down, there will always be ongoing projects in the Prairie provinces. We are happy to have negotiated some sizable increases for members working in this sector.
This fall, we renewed a major collective agreement with Heartland Constructors Inc., which showcases some tremendous increases for the thousands of members employed in the industrial maintenance sector.
In addition, we’ve negotiated wage increases for thousands of members employed by Save-On-Foods in Alberta and Manitoba, as well as members employed by TCL Supply Chain Inc. and BakosNDT Ltd, both in Alberta. These increases help members with the ever-increasing cost of living and allow them to support themselves and their families.