October 26th, 2020

Union seeks to certify employees for the coming Whitla Wind Farm

By Medicine Hat News on July 3, 2019.

A non-affiliated union is seeking to certify employees at the currently-under-construction Whitla Wind farm, the biggest utility infrastructure project ongoing in the region.

On June 24, CLAC Local 63, applied to be the bargaining agent for employees of Borea Construction, the firm contracted with foundation work, tower erection and some site duties at the planned $325-million renewable power project.

Borea official told the News this spring they hoped to hire locally to fill up to half its expected 150-person workforce. That includes most trades, including ironworking, welding, rigging, electrical work, concrete forming and carpentry.

A hearing has been scheduled by the Alberta Labour Relations Board regarding the application for Tuesday, July 9 in Edmonton. If needed, a second hearing would take place the following Friday.

Messages left with the company and the union on Tuesday were not returned.

CLAC, originally known as the Christian Labour Association of Canada, bills itself as a alternative to confrontational collective bargaining and partisan political action practised by some traditional unions.

Unions affiliated with the Canadian Labour Congress however, are often critical of the organization, stating it is too cozy with employers.

In Alberta, CLAC represents about 27,750 workers under contracts with 172 employers in a variety of industries, making it one of the largest private sector unions operating in the province.

Local 63 is its construction wing in Alberta.

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