TEL Group raid of CLAC workers at Site C fails

The Site C dam project on April 3rd. Photo by Chris Newton

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A group of three unions that had attempted to raid workers at the Site C dam that are represented by another union has failed.

The TEL Group is comprised of: the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 213, The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 115, and The Construction and Specialized Workers Union Local 1611. On April 13th, the three unions applied with the Labour Relations Board to commence a raid of the employees of Peace River Hydro Partners that are currently represented by the Christian Labour Association of Canada.

Labour Relations Board Information Officer Guy Pocklington says that the two sides met at the LRB in Vancouver for a hearing to determine if the TEL Group had achieved threshold, which is 50 percent plus one member of the workforce. According to CLAC Membership Development representative Ryan Bruce, at that initial hearing it was determined that the TEL Group had not achieved threshold. At the hearing, Bruce said that the TEL Group applied for and was granted a payroll audit of Peace River Hydro Partners to verify the number of employees that were current members of the CLAC. Pocklington says that at a hearing on May 3rd, the results of the audit showed that threshold had not been reached, and the LRB ruled that the raid had failed.

Bruce says that for the CLAC, it was business as usual during the attempted raid. “We offer good representation, we’re going to continue to offer our members good representation up there and make sure that we’re got a safe worksite,” said Bruce. “We’re going to continue on with that in mind.”

Pocklington explained that since the raid failed, the CLAC’s local at Site C will be protected from being raided by any union for a period of 22 months, with the next open season for raiding occurring in February 2019.