Frequenty Asked Questions


Q. Where do I get information about becoming an apprentice?

A. The information is in our Apprenticeship section.

Q. I am looking for work as a carpenter. Who should I contact?

A. To find out the Local Union you should be contacting, click here to get a listing of Local Unions. Contact the Local Union closest to where you live.

Q. I want to take the challenge exam for my carpenter's certificate. Who should I contact?

A. You can get information from the Industry Training Authority's web-site at:

Q. How do unions work?

A. Workers know they deserve fair wages and safe working conditions. Minimum standards are set out by governments. Unions help employees receive fair treatment and better wages and benefits in a respectful work environment by providing a mechanism to bring all employees together to work toward common goals.

Once your company is unionized, representatives from your work site and experts from the union will negotiate a contract covering wages and conditions. The workers at the job site decide by majority vote, on final contract.

If you'd like to know more, call CMAW at (604)-437-0471

Q. I'd like to bring in the union to my work site. How do I do that?

A. Many people are not sure how to bring in a union or how they function. Some feel threatened by their employer and fear what might happen if they try to bring in a union.

We can help you organize your shop. If you are working in a non-union shop and have concerns about safety or fairness on the job site, we have skilled and experienced organizers who can help you bring in a union. Call (604) 437-0471 in confidence, and ask to speak to an organizer.

Q. What protection do I have if I want to bring in a union?

A. In B.C., workers organizing a union are protected by law by the Labour Code and Labour Relations Board. The Labour Code guarantees the right of every employee to join a trade union and to participate in its lawful activities.

Employers, or people acting on their behalf, are prohibited from:

  • participating in or interfering with the formation or administration of a union
  • firing, suspending, transferring, laying off or otherwise disciplining an employee during an organizing drive except for proper cause
  • imposing any condition in a contract that attempts to prevent an employee from exercising his or her right under the Labour Code
  • threatening to impose a penalty or promising a benefit to try to compel an employee from becoming or continuing to be a member of a union.

Q. What does it mean to be certified?

Once your job site is certified, your union becomes your exclusive bargaining agent. Because there is strength in numbers, your union will be more effective in:

  • negotiating a good collective agreement
  • raising and correcting safety concerns
  • providing job security

Q. Are there openings for apprenticeships in CMAW?

A. Yes. Call CMAW at our main office at 604-437-0471 and we'll put you in touch with a union representative in your area.