Labor Union

Canadian Building Trades Unions (CBTU)

Website:

buildingtrades.ca

Location:

Ottawa, Canada

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(5)

Leadership:

Sean Strickland

The Canadian Building Trades Unions is a labor union and Canadian office of North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU). The organization represents half a million Canadian workers who belong to fourteen international unions. [1]

The organization is affiliated with several American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) member unions including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, both of which have been subject to corruption investigations. [2][3][4]

Background

Canadian Building Trades Unions (CBTU), sometimes referred to as Canada’s Building Trades Unions, is a labor union that is the Canadian Office of North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU). NABTU is the trade name of the Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD), a division of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the largest federation of labor unions in the United States. Under its controversial current president Richard Trumka, the AFL-CIO has aligned closely with the Democratic Party and the organizational left by increasing its support for liberal politicians and progressive causes, including those unrelated to the economy and collective bargaining. [5][6]

NABTU is responsible for managing the interactions of AFL-CIO-affiliated building trades unions, settling organizing disputes between unions, and representing construction unions as a bloc for advocacy and employer-relations purposes. The organization primarily serves as an umbrella organization for 15 major AFL-CIO unions in the United States and Canada. The BCTD has councils in all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., and the Virgin Islands, as well as 11 provinces and territories of Canada. [7]

CBTU represents half a million Canadian workers who belong to fourteen international unions. CBTU claims that these workers generate approximately six percent of Canada’s GDP. CBTU focuses on representing members of the building, construction, fabrication, and maintenance industry. [8]

Canadian Building Trades Unions also works closely with the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of labor unions in the United States, which under its controversial current president Richard Trumka, has aligned closely with the Democratic Party and the organizational left and increased its support for liberal politicians and progressive causes, including those unrelated to the economy and collective bargaining. [9]

CBTU member unions include the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers (BSOIW), the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, the International Union of Elevator Constructors, the International Union of Operating Engineers, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, the Laborers’ International Union of North America, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers, the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing, Pipefitting and Sprinkler Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada (UA), and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. [10]

Many of the unions and their local affiliates have been investigated for corruption over the previous decades, including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. [11][12]

Political Activities

Bill C-377, An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act, passed the House of Commons of Canada in 2011 under then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The bill ensured that labor organizations, including unions, had to disclose finances which would then be publicly posted onto the Canada Revenue Agency website. The financial disclosures included spending, salaries, and other political activities. The Canadian Building Trades Unions claimed that the impact of the bill would hamper the ability to create jobs as unions provide benefits and training to workers via membership dues. [13]

The Canadian government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau later enacted bill C-4, which repealed bill C-377. A spokesperson for the Canadian Building Trades Unions said that the organization was “grateful” that the government restored “fairness in respect of the confidentiality of union financial information.” [14][15]

References

  1. “About CBTU,” Canada’s Building Trades Unions, accessed June 20, 2021, https://buildingtrades.ca/about-2/. ^
  2. “Our Affiliates,” Canada’s Building Trades Unions, accessed June 20, 2021, https://buildingtrades.ca/what-we-do/our-affiliates/. ^
  3. Carl Horowitz, “Hawaii IBEW Boss, Family Members Indicted for $1.4M in Thefts,” National Legal & Policy Center, September 30, 2019, https://nlpc.org/2019/09/18/hawaii-ibew-boss-family-members-indicted-for-1-4m-in-thefts/. ^
  4. Sean Higgins  | November 22 and Gregory Bull, “Charges Recommended against Fourth Top Teamster Official,” Washington Examiner, November 22, 2016, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/charges-recommended-against-fourth-top-teamster-official. ^
  5. “About CBTU,” Canada’s Building Trades Unions, accessed June 20, 2021, https://buildingtrades.ca/about-2/. ^
  6. Kenneth Weinstein, “From Meany to Sweeney: Labor’s Leftward Tilt,” The Heritage Foundation, accessed June 20, 2021, https://www.heritage.org/jobs-and-labor/report/meany-sweeney-labors-leftward-tilt-0. ^
  7. “Official Directory,” NABTU, June 5, 2017, https://nabtu.org/about-nabtu/official-directory/. ^
  8. “About CBTU,” Canada’s Building Trades Unions, accessed June 20, 2021, https://buildingtrades.ca/about-2/. ^
  9. Kenneth Weinstein, “From Meany to Sweeney: Labor’s Leftward Tilt,” The Heritage Foundation, accessed June 20, 2021, https://www.heritage.org/jobs-and-labor/report/meany-sweeney-labors-leftward-tilt-0. ^
  10. “Our Affiliates,” Canada’s Building Trades Unions, accessed June 20, 2021, https://buildingtrades.ca/what-we-do/our-affiliates/. ^
  11. Carl Horowitz, “Hawaii IBEW Boss, Family Members Indicted for $1.4M in Thefts,” National Legal & Policy Center, September 30, 2019, https://nlpc.org/2019/09/18/hawaii-ibew-boss-family-members-indicted-for-1-4m-in-thefts/. ^
  12. Sean Higgins  | November 22 and Gregory Bull, “Charges Recommended against Fourth Top Teamster Official,” Washington Examiner, November 22, 2016, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/charges-recommended-against-fourth-top-teamster-official. ^
  13. “Mixed Labour Reaction to Union Disclosure Bill Passage – Constructconnect.com,” Daily Commercial News, December 5, 2017, https://canada.constructconnect.com/dcn/news/labour/2011/01/mixed-labour-reaction-to-union-disclosure-bill-passage-dcn053268w. ^
  14. “Bill C-377 (Historical),” openparliament.ca, accessed June 20, 2021, https://openparliament.ca/bills/41-2/C-377/. ^
  15. “Canada’s Building Trades Unions Welcome the Announcement on Bill C 377,” newswire.ca, December 21, 2015, https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/canadas-building-trades-unions-welcome-the-announcement-on-bill-c-377-563169981.html . ^
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Canadian Building Trades Unions (CBTU)


Ottawa,
Canada