Demand for our members' skills has moderated recently, but we anticipate it becoming stronger again in the near future. There is still plenty of work to be done in developing the resources of Northern Alberta. Our members will be participating in major construction projects, and their ongoing maintenance, for some years to come.

That’s why we want you to join us – especially if you’re a qualified Alberta Journeyman (or equivalent) or Interprovincial Red Seal Steamfitter, B Pressure Welder, Plumber, Refrigeration Mechanic or Instrument Technician.

Union pay rates, benefit and pension plans are very attractive. We welcome all new members.

How Do I Join?

We make it easy to join Local 488!

First, start with a phone call (780 452-7080), an email, or a visit to our Edmonton headquarters (16214 118 Avenue) or our Fort McMurray office (9703A Franklin Avenue T9H 2K1). If you’re a registered apprentice, we’ll refer you to our Education Department, where you’ll complete some paperwork and be told about our dispatch system and the rules regarding apprentice ‘call-outs’. If you’re a Journeyman, we’ll examine your trade credentials and photocopy your driver’s license and trade tickets. You’ll fill out some paperwork related both to membership and to our benefit and pension plans.


Every worker has the legal right to be represented by a union.

When employees band together and vote to become part of a union, they use their collective strength to ensure that they are treated and paid fairly by their employer, and that their worksite will be a safe one. The principle is simple – together, employees are stronger than they are as individuals.

If you and your fellow employees are not represented, or if you are represented by an alternative labour organization, we encourage you to talk with our organizers. They’re used to helping workers organize. And they understand how sensitive this subject can be. We promise they’ll honour your need for privacy.

Take a positive step toward a better working life.

Email us, or call anyone in our Organizing Department (phone 780-236-5661). email Lorin Bates: 

Pay & Benefit Advantages

All union members working under the same Collective Agreement are paid equally, so it’s easy to tell you what our pay rates are, and what benefits we receive.
But non-union tradespeople are not all paid the same, so a perfect apples-to-apples comparison is difficult.

Following are the major differences between what our members receive and what many non-union people receive:

  • Our hourly base pay is usually higher
  • Our total hourly pay package is almost always higher
  • Double-time overtime is part of all of our contracts (different thresholds apply to various trades and types of projects)
  • Our pension plan is 100% employer-paid (NO pay deductions!)
  • Our pension plan is a ‘defined benefit’ plan – we know ahead of time exactly what our pension income will be. This type of pension is vastly better than RRSP-type 'retirement savings' plans
  • Our health and welfare benefit plan is also 100% employer-paid
  • We are paid 10% vacation pay every payday
  • We are guaranteed that if inflation is high, we’ll receive annual pay increases equal to the Alberta inflation rate + 1%

Words of Praise

If you've been working non-union, here's what it can mean to your life to either move to a union employer, or to ask us to help you organize your workplace:

"Working non-union, I was told I was no good, that I would never find another job anywhere else, that I was lucky to have this  job….there were threats like “you’d better work the overtime, or when it gets slow you'll lose your job and your family will suffer because you won’t have benefits....and it was all lies.

When I joined the union, I got an automatic huge increase in my pay. I was treated with respect. I had representation. They had policies against verbal abuse and harassment. There was no backstabbing and people didn’t tear you down to make themselves look better so they could climb the ladder. It was a completely different environment!

Before I joined, I was so oppressed that I had no self esteem, no confidence in my abilities, I was having trouble sleeping and I was actually losing weight. Joining the union really improved the family dynamics...I was a lot happier, I was a lot more self-confident and at the end of the day I had a lot more energy for my wife and kids."

- Terry Hopman 

Current Hourly Wages & Benefit

Check out our Agreements and Forms document library at for the latest wage information.