Unifor Local 829
Information


A history of our Union

1968

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


1969

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.


1979

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


1980

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.


1984

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


1992

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.


1995

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


2009

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

1974

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


1975

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.


1976

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


1978

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


1980

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


1984

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.


1986

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.


1993

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.


2005

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


2005

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


2008

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



2013

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