Organize Your Workplace
Join the Union
There’s no better time to be an Ironworker. Wages are good. Job prospects are bright. Ironworkers maintain impeccable relationships with employers. And, you’ll be part of a brotherhood of highly skilled, motivated construction professionals.
In August, 2013, Canada’s Employment Minister Jason Kenny said, “According to different industry councils, we’re looking at shortages of hundreds of thousands of construction trades people in the next decade.” That means skilled tradesmen and practically guaranteed a job now, and in years to come.
Ironworking is a high-growth sector with booming work in all the following skills:
- Structural Ironwork
- Reinforcing Ironwork (Rebar)
- Machinery Rigging
- Shipyard Rigging
- Curtain Wall erection
- Pre-Cast erection
- Metal Building erection
- Ornamental Ironwork
- Wind Turbine erection
If you’re an individual, you can sign a membership card at the provincial local union and begin working for Ironworker employers while following a specialized apprenticeship program. (Some regulations in the province of Quebec are different). However, even if you’re currently working for an employer, you and your coworkers can still join the union through a process called Organizing. After you’re organized, you will be guaranteed workplace rights, union rates, pension and benefits. Contrary to what many non-union employers say, Ironworkers have impeccable relationships with our employers partners across Canada, and we are committed to working with them to find win-win solutions to any issues.
For help organizing your workplace, including guidance through the organization process and confidential meeting spaces, call (514-328-1482). We’ll connect you with a representative from your Local Union.
7 Reasons to Go Union
1) Strength in numbers – the union represents you with your employers, making sure you’re always paid exactly what you’re owed, that you’re treated with honesty and respect, and that any grievance you have is fairly dealt with.
2) No worksite competition – in the union, you don’t have to compete with your fellow workers for a supervisor’s favour. We’re all treated equally. And because we respect one another, we always work as a team.
3) Safety – nothing is more important to the union or its employers than making sure every single worker is safe on the job. New union members are always amazed when they begin work on a union jobsite…they can’t believe that they don’t have to ‘cut corners’ to get the job done faster.
4) Great pay, pension and benefits – The union regularly negotiates wage, pension and benefit packages that put our members among the higher-earning construction trades.
5) Training – Our Locals spend lots of money providing (mostly free!) training and upgrading programs for our members. In the union, if you’re motivated, you can always make yourself more employable by earning new trade, safety and supervisory skills.
6) Job search – Because our locals operate Hiring Halls and dispatch members to employers’ jobsites as they are needed, you can choose how much (or even whether) you want to work. When a job’s finished, or when you decide to go to work, your Hiring Hall Dispatcher places you on the list and as soon as your turn comes up, it’s off to work you go.
7) Great relationship with employers – contrary to what non-union employers say about unions, every one of our Locals across Canada has a strong relationship of mutual respect with our employers. We are firm in our dealings with them, but we are also committed to work with them to find win-win solutions to the challenges we each face. Strikes and other work disruptions are very, very uncommon.