Join
LiUNA 1611

Join a union and feel the power at work! LiUNA 1611 members enjoy higher wages, more benefits, stronger job security, and a better work/life balance. 

What is a Union?

Simply put, a union is workers uniting to achieve a common cause together. This cause can be anything, including: improving wages, fair scheduling, ensuring respectful treatment in the workplace, combatting racial discrimination, health & safety concerns, or anything else! Anything that is in connection to your work can be addressed once you & your co-workers unionize.

LiUNA Local 1611 is the name of the union that other workers like you have come together to build. Unions are not a corporation & are not motivated by profit or making money. LiUNA is a democratic organization where members vote to decide the organization’s priorities, and then the staff get to work making them happen. Union members are in charge of their union and your involvement is encouraged.

Members have access to professional support to deal with workplace issues, free training courses, and, if negotiated, our union-run medical and pension plans. In addition, construction workers gain access to our dispatch department to put you to work on various sites.

How to form a Union

Forming a union is a worker’s legal right under Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and there is a legal process that workers must follow to do so. That process looks like this:

liuna-building

Get in touch with an organizer

The first step is to get in touch with a union organizer! Your organizer will work with you on a winning strategy, answer your questions, and address any concerns. Think of them as your all around support throughout the process.

union-card

Sign a
union card

A majority of workers must sign a confidential union card to advance the process. Signing a union card is like signing a petition. The more people who sign, the more powerful your demands for change will be.

logo-lrb

File for union certification

a) If 45-55% of the workforce have signed on, the Labour Board will conduct an election.
b) If over 55% of the workforce signed up, there is no need for a certification vote, and workers move on to bargaining.

Who Does LiUNA 1611 Represent?

The Labourers International Union of North America (LiUNA) Local 1611 has over 10,000 members in BC and Yukon, and across North America, LiUNA’s membership is over half a million. Our members work in construction, services sectors, warehousing, retail, recycling & waste management, healthcare, green energy & beyond. 

If you work, then you’re a Labourer, and LiUNA is the Labourers’ union that has the experience, resources and determination to assist you in improving your working life by unionizing.  

In the Kamloops area,  LiUNA 1611 represents: 

  1. Emil Anderson 
  2. BA Dawson Blacktop
  3. Rock  Construction & Mining
  4. Pashco Blasting 
  5. Dawson Construction

LiUNA 1611 Members Work at:

LiUNA 1611 Members Work at:

The Union Advantage

On average, unionized workers earned $5.12/hour more than non-union employees. And for women in unions, who are traditionally paid less by non-union corporations, you earn roughly $6.91/hour more. This ensures that all workers doing the same work, regardless of their gender identity, are being paid fairly.

Local 1611 strives to negotiate Collective Agreements that provide a fair wage and guaranteed, pre-negotiated raises. You’ll never have to ask for a raise again, eliminating favouritism and managerial discrimination. This advantage extends: - Youth: Earn $3.16/hour more when you unionize. - Indigenous People: Earn $6.51/hour more when you unionize. - New Immigrants: Earn $3.97/hour more when you unionize.

When workers unionize, they gain the power to negotiate with their employer collectively instead of individually. Collectively you can negotiate better wages, health and retirement benefits, fair work schedules, job security and overall improved workplace conditions.

LiUNA members also have a support network made up of Union Reps, Stewards, WCB Advocates, and Lawyers to help protect and ensure your fair treatment.

Many non-union workers are scared to point out safety concerns in the workplace as they are fearful of discipline or being labelled as troublemakers. This isn’t a concern in unionized workplaces, which is why unionized workplaces are safer.

Unionized workers have a 25% lower rate of injury. With a union, workers can hold their employer accountable for their safety in the workplace without any fear of being punished.

If a LiUNA member does get injured at work, you’ll have access to a WCB Advocate that will help you through the process of getting compensation.

Covered members and their dependents have health benefits such as extended healthcare, dental care, drug coverage, and life insurance. Members can also negotiate a pension plan or RRSP match into their collective agreement, depending on their priorities. These benefits can’t be changed without workers’ approval, unlike in a non-unionized workplace.

Forming a union is a worker’s best way to get job security. Unionizing removes the employer’s ability to terminate workers without just cause and creates a dispute resolution process that promotes a fair and respectful work environment.

On average, unionized workers earned $5.12/hour more than non-union employees. And for women in unions, who are traditionally paid less by non-union corporations, you earn roughly $6.91/hour more. This ensures that all workers doing the same work, regardless of their gender identity, are being paid fairly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this happening?

A group of your co-workers contact LiUNA 1611 for assistance to help all of you gain the Power of unionization. With a union, workers gain 50% of the decision making power over how your jobs functions each day by negotiation all of your working conditions (wages, vacation scheduling, health benefits coverage, etc.). 

I've never been a member of a union before, what should I know?

Unions are member-run democratic non-profits who’s sole purpose is to improve their members jobs and standard of living. Becoming unionized, means you gain the ability to negotiate with your employer as stronger group of workers over individually (without a union). 

 

You as a union member are in complete control of your union. You decide what your union tries to negotiate with your employer and all changes must be voted on and accepted before they take affect. 

What do I get out of my membership with LiUNA 1611?

The main role of LiUNA 1611 is to negotiate a collective agreement with your employer and enforce your rights, but there are also a variety of other benefits that your membership with LiUNA will provide you, as we try to support our members and their families. 

How can unionizing help me?

There are many ways that unionizing can help, here’s a few examples:

  1. Voice in your Career – Becoming unionized will give us a say over our working conditions and all the changes that are happening in the company right now. We’ll get to negotiate a collective employment agreement that we will have a say over, and that carries more weight than company policies.
  2. Improved Transparency – Having a union will create more transparency on how we’re paid, scheduled, book time off and all other working conditions. Everyone’s rights will be found in our negotiated collective employment agreement that will ensure everyone’s fair and equal treatment.
  3. Fair Wages – For the first time, we’ll have a say over how our wages a structured. We can negotiate a wage scale that factors in your experience, education, capabilities and the inflation rate. We think ServiceMaster can afford to be a living wage employer, and unionizing will help us achieve this.
  4. Superior Health Benefits – LiUNA has a multi-million dollar health benefits trust that provides its 10,000 members with health benefits. If we join their plan, we will get better healthcare coverage while saving the company and ourselves money because we’d get them at a volume discounted rate.
  5. Protect our RRSP Matching – Unionizing will make sure that our RRSP matching doesn’t disappear like other incentives and bonuses have.
  6. Vacation Schedule and Entitlement – Unionizing will give us a say on how our vacation time is scheduled, and the amount workers are entitled to. With a union, we can try to negotiate more than the legal minimum of 3 weeks after 5 years of employment. We’d like to get more than three weeks of vacation, how about you?
Does Greg and Chris have a say over this?

The decision to freely unionize with LiUNA 1611 is up to the workers, only. It’s against the Law for them to interfere. 

Employer’s have their own version of unions, known as employer associations. ServiceMaster is apart of  the Restoration Contractors Organization of Canada and their National Director, Stephan Roy is on their Board. Your boss has his union, isn’t it time for you to get yours?

Will management know who signed up for the union?

No! LiUNA 1611 and your co-workers directly involved in the union drive will not disclose who signed up to anyone.

 

The only other party that sees your signature is the government. Employers have no right to this information, and if management asks you if you signed, that can be viewed as intimidation, and that’s illegal. 

 

Contact Keith with LiUNA if you run into any issues with management. You’re under no obligation to answer any of their questions about unionization. 

Will unionizing help the company?

Yes, there are a variety of ways that unionizing will help the company.

  1. LiUNA can use our multi-million dollar health benefits trust to help you and management gain access to superior health benefits at a cheaper price (below market rate). 
  2. Employer access to LiUNA trade school, Training Plus
  3. Access to skilled trades through our hire hall and union network.
  4. Assistance with reducing turnover and reducing training costs. Workers rarely quit good jobs, union jobs are good job. 
  5. Concert Properties is a real estate  developer owned by union’s that only does business with unionized employers. Unionization will give ServiceMaster Kamloops access to work with Concert. 
Can I get fired for joining a union?

No. It is illegal for employers to fire workers for trying to join a union. Under the BC Labour Relations Code, all workers have the right to join a union without fear of reprisals from their employer. If you are worried about retaliation from your employer, know that we will have your back.

How much are union dues?

LiUNA 1611 is not profit driven like businesses, we are a non-profit organization and all the money we collect from our members in union dues is spent on representing them. It’s still your money that is managed by your elected executive board.

 

There are no dues until your first contract is accepted. To try and keep dues as low as possible for our members, dues are structured with a flat monthly fee of $35/month and working dues that you only pay while you are working. 

 

Your working dues will be $0.30/hour, so expect to pay about $20 per week on union dues. 

 

All dues are 100% tax-deductible, so they cost you even less!

What are union dues spent on?

Your union dues are spent on representing you and your unionized co-workers.

I like things the way they are now. Why join a union?

If you like the way things are now, then you want to unionize to make sure unwanted changes don’t happen. 

 

With a union, your employer can’t make major changes to your job without your union’s agreement.  For example, the company can just remove your RRSP matching if they want.

 

LiUNA 1611 will work with your employer to ensure you have a job that continues to be worth keeping. 

What are the typical concerns that employers have towards unionization?

Loss of Flexibility – Employers are typically concerned about losing “flexibility” in operating their business. Flexibility is a nice way of saying freedom to do whatever the boss wants, even if it harms their employees. 

Competitiveness – Employers are also concerned that the negotiated improvements will increase their costs too much, so they become uncompetitive. Both your Union and Employer have a mutual interest in ensuring your company remains competitive, which includes having a skilled and happy workforce. 

Limited Communication – Some employers think that workers can not communicate with them directly because a union is in place. This is not true; a union is an added level of protection and gives workers the right to have a witness and representation, but workers are also free not to involve their union in their matters.