Canada’s Building Trades Unions

International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers

This international association, usually referred to simply as Ironworkers, was founded in 1896 and represents more than 120,000 workers in Canada and the U.S. Many commonly known structures in North America have come as a result of the work performed by ironworkers, including the Freedom Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Oil Sands Plan Expansion in Alberta. Ironworkers assemble and erect steel frameworks and other metal parts of buildings, bridges, dams, skyscrapers, factories and other steel structures.

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International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers

The International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers has more than 100 locals in Canada and the U.S. It represents nearly 30,000 skilled tradespeople across North America who fabricate, test and apply insulation to pipes, tanks, boilers, ducts, refrigeration equipment and other surfaces subject to heat and frost.

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Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association of the United States and Canada (OPCMIA)

(Français) L’AIPFC représente majoritairement des travailleurs œuvrant dans deux secteurs de l’industrie : le plâtre et le ciment. En revanche, ils se spécialisent souvent dans divers créneaux du marché résidentiel, industriel et commercial. Les maçons et plâtriers que l’AIPFC représente posent des fondations de bâtiment, des plaques de béton, des revêtements de mur, du stuc décoratif et des produits ignifuges.

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International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)

The IBEW has been active for over 100 years and represents more than 675,000 electrical workers in Canada and the U.S. Electrical workers install and maintain lighting, electrical conduits, switches and converters, high technology building systems, fiber optics and voice/data/video equipment. The IBEW prides itself on the democracy that’s afforded to each of the affiliated local unions, which have the ability to establish their own bylaws, rules, and policies in concert with the IBEW constitution.

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International Brotherhood of Teamsters

With more than 1.4 million members in North America, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters is the continent’s largest, most diverse union. Including Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, there are nearly 1,900 affiliates. Members of the 35 Teamster locals in Canada provide packaging, transportation and warehousing of goods and materials in almost every sector of the economy, including the construction sector.

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International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC)

The BAC has more than 40 locals in the U.S. and Canada. Members of BAC include tile setters, refactory workers, cement and marble masons, and terrazzo and mosaic workers. They build walls, lay floors and produce a range of decorative finishes in residential, commercial and institutional buildings.

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International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC)

The IUEC’s 25,000 North American members assemble, install, maintain, repair and replace elevators, escalators, dumbwaiters, moving walkways and similar equipment. In 2001, the union celebrated its 100th anniversary. The IUEC has its own Industry Educational Program, Industry Work Preservation Fund and competitive benefits plan for members.

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International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE)

The IUOE is the 12th largest union in the AFL-CIO and is recognized as a leader in organized labour movements. The union has approximately 400,000 members in 123 local unions across the U.S. and Canada. Operating engineers work as heavy equipment operators, mechanics and surveyors throughout the construction industry. The IUOE also represents nurses and other health industry workers. The union boasts over 100 state-of-the-art training and apprenticeship programs.

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International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT)

Recognized as being one of the most active unions in the labour movement, IUPAT represents more than 160,000 skilled construction tradespeople in Canada and the U.S. today. Painters and allied tradespeople apply paints and industrial coatings, hang wallpaper, glaze windows, finish drywall, install floor coverings and create signs and displays.

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Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA)

With more than half a million members in North America, of which 75,000 are in Canada, LIUNA is one of the largest and fastest-growing unions on the continent. In Canada, the union operates its affairs independently of their U.S. counterpart. LIUNA members are adaptable, multi-skilled workers who are indispensable on construction projects ranging from new homes and office towers to industrial plants, highways, bridges and dams.

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Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART)

Representing more than 150,000 members in North America, the SMART has been in operation since 1888. Members of the union fabricate and install metal construction components including roofing, coping and flashing, commercial kitchens, and industrial systems. They also install and service heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and refrigeration systems.

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United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada (UA)

The UA represents approximately 370,000 skilled tradespeople in North America and Australia. More than 50,000 of its members are Canadian. UA tradespeople include plumbers, pipe fitters, sprinkler fitters and service technicians. They install, remodel or maintain systems that carry water, steam, air and other liquids or gases necessary for sanitation, industrial production, and heating and air conditioning.

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United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC)

(Français) La FUMC existe depuis plus de 130 ans et figure à ce titre comme l’un des plus anciens syndicats d’Amérique du Nord. La fraternité représente plus d’un demi-million de travailleurs aux États-Unis et Canada, notamment des charpentiers, monteurs d’échafaudages, latteurs, mécaniciens de chantier, ébénistes et recouvreurs de plancher qui œuvrent dans divers domaines du bâtiment.

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