Some think Unions are all about their members and that means getting ‘stuff’ for them to the determent of others.

Some think Unions need to be “controlled” because they are too interested in politics or social causes and others think that Unions make it impossible for employers to manage the work.  Almost all of these opinions are simply myths, but as with myths they are pervasive.

The Unions that make up Canada’s Building Trades Unions are different with a different business model, one that surprises many. Our employers are our partners; their success is our success; if our employer wins the bid we get work.

Our employers pay us better than our competition and we get better benefits for retirement and support for our families. Our world is highly competitive; jobs are low bid so our employers need to get production for every hour of labour if they are going to stay in business.  This translates into the Union doing things; we run the hiring hall, attract and recruit the workforce.  Through our Training Centres we do the training (both basic and advanced) that makes our workers better.  We run the welfare and pension programs.  In fact we do much of the HR function for our partners.

"Our members spend a working life in an industry where hard work pays off – it is no surprise that so many sons and daughters follow their parents in the Trade!"

Finally we have collective agreements that are different as well.  There is no seniority; if you produce you stay on the payroll.  There is no sick leave or other paid days off, we only get paid for working.  Pensions are not funded only by the employer, we buy our pension and welfare contributions from the total hourly wage package.  

Do we build communities and families, you bet! People join Building Trades Unions because they have or want to acquire skills.  Males and females get paid the same and treated the same.

We run programs like Build TogetHER (women in the trades), Hammerheads (youth at risk), Tradewinds to Success (aboriginal youth), Helmets to Hardhats (Veterans) and many others across Canada. Our members spend a working life in an industry where hard work pays off – it is no surprise that so many sons and daughters follow their parents in the Trade!