As the final day of classes approaches for each group of carpentry students, the construction trade unions come to visit, talk and promote their union. This is because by law in this province, every construction worker who works on new residential, or any commercial or industrial project must be a member of a recognized trade union.
Typically the CSN, SQC, International and FTQ carpentry “locals” send representatives to woo CVCEC’s Carpentry Program graduates. The reps explain the importance of unions to trade workers, the history of the trade union movement in Quebec, and current elements of concern to professional carpenters. They also highlight what they feel are the strengths and virtues of their particular organization.
Before commencing work on a construction job deemed to be “under the decree” every carpentry apprentice will have to choose a union, but this choice is not necessarily a lifelong one, in that every four years any construction worker may change his union affiliation, as he or she sees fit.
Currently, in this province, the only route into the construction industry requires the completion of a vocational studies diploma (DEP), in a particular construction trade, available only at vocational training centres, like CVCEC.