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Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
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scotian Offline
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Post: #440
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
I'm a proud union member and am glad that I belong to one because of the better pay, better benefits and my pension. I also like the fact that on a job site, the guys stick up for each other; there's a lot of camaraderie and we watch each others backs whether its a safety issue or management issue.

I've also worked non-union in my trade and honestly, that was the best company I ever worked for because it was a small operation, about a dozen employees, we only did small jobs around the city of Calgary.

Now that I'm working on these big huge mega projects run by multinational oil companies (worked for Conoco Philips, Total and Suncor in the past two weeks) with thousands of men on-site (union and non), I can say that I prefer union work.

I've worked with the non union companies who fly guys in from eastern Canada (including many guys I went to school with in NS) and pay them $10 less an hour, those guys think they've got it good but drives down our wages out west, where living expenses like a house are much costlier.

Also, non union contractors employ a lot of the temporary foreign workers and they treat them like shit, again, a Filipino welder who works for $22/hour and lives in a two bedroom apartment with 3 other guys doesn't know any better, he thinks he has it made. The companies love them because a Filipino doesn't say no, he just does the job, many of them don't come from the same industrial safety culture that we have in places like the USA, Europe,etc.

I'm pro oil sands development (obviously) and pro foreign workers (although I'd rather they stay and bring their families to Canada instead of sending all their money out of country), but I've read to0 many stories about how some oil companies treat their workers.

This is what I mean:

I worked at that site for two years and am glad to be back at a UNION site now

I stayed at this camp two years ago and got FUCKING SCABIES, it was so dirty!!! It was in the news because a union electrician took pics and blogged about it, the oil company (Suncor) had him banned from site for this. Here's a mutli-billion dollar company that can't give its fly in/out guys decent clean rooms, hygenic food and then a bunch of them get infections, WTF? I left there quick to say the least, you can read all about it and see the videos here:

Suncor has since built a new camp complex out there, its actually very nice.

I know unions can be sketchy but honestly in ALberta, its so busy and everyone is working so much (for now) that I don't pay too much attention to the politics, I take my money and run!


Don’t sweat the petty things, pet the sweaty things.
(This post was last modified: 09-23-2012 10:13 PM by scotian.)
09-23-2012 09:56 PM
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Messages In This Thread
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months! - scotian - 09-23-2012 09:56 PM
Risks, opportunities, import/export - OSL - 03-16-2013, 06:58 AM