Federal Election Home Stretch

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Federal Election Home Stretch

September 17, 2021

See Original Newsletter from Canada’s Building Trades Unions here.

As we head toward the end of September, both election campaigning and the weather are cooling down; Monday marks E-Day and I would encourage you – regardless of your political stripes – to get out, vote and have your voice heard.  

We know that much of the work to get our issues heard happens long before an election is called, and requires a lot of effort once a new government is in place to ensure campaign promises are fulfilled. Regardless of the outcome of the election, CBTU and the Canadian Executive Board have been diligent in our efforts to ensure all parties are keeping worker issues in the election discourse. Issues like skilled labour mobility have long been supported by the NDP; but, through our strategic advocacy prior to and after the writ dropped, this election sees it included in both Liberal platform and Conservative platform. Thank you for your continued support; and for taking concrete steps like responding to CBTU’s calls to action through things like visiting building2021.ca and sending a letter to your local elected official. Because we know this issue is important to our members.

According to an Abacus Data survey commissioned by Let’s Build Canada recently that surveyed building trades members across Canada, it found that the vast majority of Canadian workers in the trades have seen a declining number of jobs in their sector. Seventy-five per cent say work shortages are common in their region, and 65 per cent have had to travel more than 150 kilometres from home for work in the past five years.
Furthermore, as we look at the drastic changes in the energy sector, workers have concerns as well. Seven in ten of members are concerned about the cost of retraining and upskilling, and 75 per cent are concerned that jobs in the renewable sector won’t pay as well.

Other key findings: 87 per cent of workers agreed that more needs to be done to ensure that Employment Insurance better support workers. Don’t forget to participate in the EI Consultation process, open until October 8. 

Eighty-four per cent want to see more Community Benefits Agreements on federal infrastructure projects, and 89 per cent want more federal funding for apprenticeships.
As we look beyond September 20, we will continue to push for the implementation of support for skilled trades workers and hope we can continue to count on your support to make it happen. 

Also on Election Day, the BC Building Trades are hosting their Annual Convention in Vancouver. As we return to in-person conferences and events, I would encourage everyone to continue to adhere to local health guidelines and get vaccinated if you can. Check out FasterTogether, a coalition that the Building Trades are proud to be a part of that includes information on how and where to get vaccinated in your own province – so we can get back together, faster. 

Through a partnership with SkillPlan and SRDC, the Building Trades have been working hard to better promote the opportunities that exist for a lifelong career in the skilled trades. One way we’re doing that? Through the Construction Trades Hub. This online virtual recruitment and assessment portal will, once complete, allow those interested in the trades to find out exactly what a career in the skilled trades entails, get in touch with the Local Union closest to them, upskill with additional training and courses to ready themselves to enter the trades, check out videos and infographics and so much more. The first provincial portal to launch was Manitoba Building Trades – check it out here. More provinces, coming soon. 

Have a great weekend and stay safe out there,

-Sean Strickland, Director of Canada’s Building Trades Unions