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Business Manager’s Message November 9, 2021

Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

I hope you had a good Thanksgiving and spent time with family and friends. I would like to share an update on some important information.

There is no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives. It is also more important than ever that we protect our loved ones, friends, and co-workers. As you may know, UA Canada has implemented a new COVID policy to ensure the safety of all its members. This includes members, visitors and guests entering all UA facilities, require either full vaccination, or a COVID test, 72 hours prior to entering the facilities.

Owner groups have updated their COVID policies; an example is Syncrude will phase out on-site rapid antigen screening (RAS) and transition to a self-administered program this month. Contractors are responsible for ensuring they comply with the following, in order for their workers to gain access to Syncrude sites: Members who are unvaccinated, or partially vaccinated, as well as those who have not declared a status, are required to participate in their employers’ rapid screening program.

Note: A person is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after completing the full series of vaccines. Screening is expected to be completed a maximum of 72 hours prior to site access and every 72 hours while working.  Workers who are fully vaccinated are not required to participate in the rapid screening program.

Regarding the ICI agreement, we are progressing well, and appreciate your ongoing patience and support. We do recognize the economy is starting to ramp up again, which improves our position.  I have always maintained; we will negotiate the best deal for you.  

As mentioned above, Alberta’s economy is bouncing back. Unemployment rates are declining and returning to pre-pandemic levels.  Simply put, there is an ever-increasing demand of work for the UA. The Genesee project (PCL) is currently waiting on material which has resulted in slowed calls, however, in early 2022 we should have a decent number of calls on the web page. If we add in the scheduled maintenance work, both long and short term, along with other small projects, members wanting to work should not have an issue getting a job next year.

Our new website is up and running, which will continue to provide valuable and informative information to all those who visit it. Dispatch is the popular choice (90%) for those who visit the website, I would ask members to search other pages to be informed on what is happening with our Local, and to provide constructive feedback on any improvements you may wish to see.  Improvement strategies are always appreciated.

In closing, this week is Remembrance Day.  Local 488 remembers all our fallen Brothers and Sisters and those who had fought for our freedoms. November 11 is a day to give thanks and remember.  We ask that you take a moment to pause and say thank you.

Fraternally Yours,

Rod McKay

Business Manager

Local 488