Feature story from the Spring 2011 Newsletter:
Our last payment was sent to UBCJA in March 2010 – a full six months ahead of schedule – making our separation final, and our Canadian autonomy officially confirmed.
While the victory couldn't have arrived soon enough, making this final separation payment means that CMAW is now free of all ties with UBCJA and also officially the very first all-Canadian building trade union.
CMAW president, brother Jan Noster, says that we should all be very proud of the fact that we stood together, to fight against US union officials ineffectively representing Canadian workers.
"It's an exciting time for our union. Now that we've made that last payment to our former international union, CMAW members can expect to see nothing but progress from our union," says Noster.
It has been more than two years since our members voted to accept the BC Labour Relations Board settlement fee recommendation that would enable us to legally leave our former international union.
"It cost us $6 million," says Noster, "and a lot of sacrifices, but now it's time to look forward to our great future."
He says that with this financial burden behind us, CMAW will now have the funds necessary for our union to grow and provide our members with the best services.
"Members can expect to see improvements in training and organizing," Noster says.
Efforts in this regard have already begun with the hiring of a new full time organizer and training coordinator, brother Jim Salidas.
Salidas will be working to help our union grow, and improve our scaffolding certification program.
Our goal is for CMAW to be the best trade union in Canada and this means providing the very best training for members.
Noster says, "We will be the first union that trades men and women think of when they're looking to join a union, and we'll be the first union companies turn to when they're looking to hire the most qualified workers available."