Unifor Local 829

A history of our Union


We de-certified as members of the Operating Engineer's Union Employed by Edmonton Power.


We certified with the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union (OCAWIU) Local 982. The OCAWIU came into Canada in the early fifties. Neil Reimer organized the first OCAWIU Locals in Canada. He became the Director of the Canadian District.


OCAWIU District 9 (Canadian Division) separates from the International Union and becomes Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers (OCAW).


OCAW District 9 merges with the Chemical Workers Union of Canada to form the Energy and Chemical Workers Union of Canada (ECWU). Neil Reimer was the prime mover in forming the Canadian Union ECWU.


Neil Reimer retired as President of ECWU. Reg Basken succeeded him as President.


ECWU merged with the Communication Workers union and the Paper workers Union to form The Communications Energy and Paper workers Union (CEP). Reg Basken was the Executive Vice President/Secretary Treasurer of CEP from inception until he retired in 1999. Our local becomes 829, employed by Edmonton Power.


Edmonton Power was incorporated as a standalone company called EPCOR Utilities Inc. Our union certification changed to EPCOR at this time.


EPCOR splits into two companies, EPCOR and Capital Power Corp. Our local’s certification is moved to Capital Power at this time.

Historical Major Events


Demonstrated at a City Council Meeting in order to stimulate contract negotiations.


Cloverbar Operators move from 8 to 12 hour shifts. Three years later Rossdale Operators also convert to 12's.

Started fight against wage and price control.


Strike seven weeks long. Issues were Shift Supervisors and wage controls.


Successfully lobbied City Council members to stop introduction of Shift Supervisors.


Edmonton Power did not give up on Shift Supervisors as they were finally introduced at Cloverbar.


Edmonton Power laid off eight of our members.

Won major grievance and court battle on Statutory Holiday layoffs, primarily due to Earl Coe's persistence.


Major grievance on staffing of Genesee. Edmonton Power did not want to staff Genesee with any existing Employees. They wanted to hire from outside the company. Resulted in an Arbitration won by local 829 whereby 50% of new employees came from the membership at Rossdale and Cloverbar Generation Stations.


Negotiated full Union seniority for layoffs and promotions.

Edmonton Power downsizing and restructuring. Five of our members took early retirement and no permanent members were laid off.

Shift Supervisors were taken off shift at Cloverbar and Genesee in December.


EPCOR announces Cloverbar Generating station no longer a viable business case and plant is shutdown. Members move to Genesee for employment.


EPCOR's Genesee plant expands, building a 500 MW Super Critical Unit.


Rossdale Generating Station no longer required and EPCOR shuts plant down.


Unifor was officially formed on August 31, 2013, at a Founding Convention in Toronto, Ontario. It marked the coming together of the Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW) and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) – two of Canada’s largest and most influential labour unions.

Union Presidents

1969-1971 - Willie Viehmann
1971-1972 - Ben Petrie
1972-1973 - John Mulka
1973-1975 - Merv Schmidt
1975-1988 - Earl Coe
1988-1990 - Roger Skayman
1990-2000 - Merv Schmidt
2000-2002 - Dale Opheim
2002-2004 - Herman Gartner
2004-2007 - Bob Brown
2007-2011 - Avery Burnham
2011-2016 - Perry Ambrose
2016-20?? - Chris Cutshaw

National Reps

Reg Basken, Gary Shurey, Rolf Nielsen, Ian Thorne, Don Boucher, Keith Barrington, Phil Belanger