The Saskatchewan and Manitoba Regional Councils merged in January 2012 to become the Prairie Arctic Regional Council of Carpenters, Drywallers, Millwrights, and Allied Workers. (PARC for short!) The new council not only serves the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba but also the Northwest Territories and Nunavut and covers approximately 4.7 million square kilometers.
PARC currently has two millwright locals, four carpenter locals and one mulit-craft local serving a diverse group of unionized workers across the prairies. The two millwright locals are involved in new construction and the maintenance of existing facilities. Two of the carpenter locals cover scaffolding, drywall, and all aspects of carpentry for the construction industry, as well as refrigeration and manufacturing. The third local is involved with school division #1 in Winnipeg and the fourth local is working closely with Hudson's Bay Mining and Smelting in Flin Flon Manitoba.
We now service approximately 2800 members and continue to grow at a rapid pace. There are training centers in Winnipeg, Regina, and Saskatoon that are dedicated to providing the most up to date safety and skills training to our members. Our contractors expect the very best tradespeople that the industry has to offer and our training centers make sure we can deliver. We have the most comprehensive safety training in the industry and believe in life-long learning. Our journey persons don't just achieve their Red Seal and stop there, they are constantly upgrading their skills in the latest technologies for their respective industries and maintaining their safety training to keep up with the newest guidelines.
If there was ever a time to work Union in our area it is now. From contractors thinking about a new way of doing business to tradespeople looking for a change there has never been a better time. We are highly skilled, productive, and safe. We provide learning opportunities and careers that you can be proud of. Call us or drop by, we welcome an opportunity to meet you.
The Prairie Arctic Council Nunavut and Northwest Territories Initiative began with the reps attending a convention of the Greater Northwest Territorial Federation of Labour, to introduce them and to promote the development of a Safer Schools and Communities program to be sponsored by organized labour in the territories. The next step was to spend a five week period in Pangnirtung Nunavut, to get familiarized with the people, land and culture. The five weeks were spent living and learning in the community.
Part of the time in Pangnirtung was spent doing community projects like rebuilding and installing a new landing and stairs at the Uqqurmiut Center - a local tapestry and print workshop.Â The project was an opportunity to talk with locals to begin explaining who we are and what we do.
Since the first visit we have returned to Pangnirtung to begin negotiations with the Hamlet to establish a Regional Center for Baffin Island. We are currently looking at a joint venture to rehabilitate an abandoned health care facility to establish our center and meet community needs for space.
Another focus has been the community of Arviat, where we were put in contact with Airo Pameolik. He began the process that resulted in many workers joining the Union and the first northern collective agreement being signed by Pameolik Construction in Nunavut. We are currently working in Arviat to establish another center in the Kivalliq Region of Nunavut and have also begun talking to communities, government and industry in the Northwest Territories.
The region offers many challenges and opportunities for our union and the residents. Work in the North is often unavailable to locals and companies have difficulty bidding on work without certified employees. We offer potential careers and training that have not existed before. The ability for members to travel to work and gain experience, wealth and certification is a powerful tool. Our combination of training, mobility and sustainability has the potential to be a driving force in the north.