AMTA Truck Rodeo

Anyone who has ever driven can imagine the challenges of operating a transport truck safely and efficiently, and on Saturday, June 21st, at Edmonton’s Griesbach Parade Square, you can see the province’s top drivers in action at the Alberta Motor Transport Association’s Professional Truck Driving Championships. Regarded as the Olympics of trucking, competitors in the AMTA Truck Rodeo compete for prizes and the glory of honorary (and admirable) titles.

RoadeoTop prizes are the Grand Champion and Rookie of the Year, while the Safety Award and Team Trophy are admirable decorations to walk away from the event with. Further titles are awarded to the winners of the following divisions: Straight Truck, Single-Single, Single-Tandem, Tandem-Tandem and Super B-Train. If you don’t know what those titles are now, you’ll have to come and see it happen!

Each driver is challenged in demonstrating his or her ability through rigorous tests, a written examination, personal interview and pre-trip inspection. Ultimately, the skills test is the real crowd-pleaser, as spectators have the opportunity to watch these drivers manoeuvre their trucks through the course! Everyone has passed a transport truck on the highway – now is the chance to watch the drivers do what they do best in a competitive atmosphere.

Check out the slideshow from last year’s event!

Local 362 members love this event as it highlights the driving and inspection skills, knowledge and professionalism of the talented drivers of Alberta. As the Eligibility Rules state, competitors must have performed the regular duties of a full-time professional truck driver for at least eleven months, must not have been employed by more than two employers, must not have had any preventable collisions and must not have had their license suspended, among other quality control rules. But the AMTA Truck Rodeo does more than celebrate the drivers’ skills for one day – it incentivizes drivers to operate safely, legally and professionally year round – otherwise they can’t compete! And who doesn’t like a little healthy competition?

The Teamsters are in support of this culture of safety and professionalism all year. “[The AMTA Truck Rode is] a great incentive for professional truck drivers to operate safely because they must be collision free for at least one year prior to the competition,” says AMTA president and CEO Richard Warnock, “many of the competitors have millions of accident free driving miles to their credit.” At the AMTA Truck Rodeo, you can spectate the true professionalism inherent to the industry.

The excitement doesn’t start and end in Edmonton – competitions happen across the country, with a national competition in Quebec later on in the year. Finalists in each of the five categories move on from the provincial championships, bringing the best of the best against each other to put their skills to the test.

For more information check out the poster for this years event.

The Building Trades of Alberta calls for more stringent oversight of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Building TradesRecent abuses of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program have raised concerns among Albertans. The Building Trades of Alberta supports strict adherence to the rules of the Temporary Foreign Worker program as an essential plank in Alberta’s economic growth – while insisting on the protection of Canadians’ jobs.

We, together with our signatory contractors, fully support the principal that every available and qualified Canadian should be given the first opportunity and access to Canadian jobs before any consideration is given to access or procure foreign workers.

Secondly, we recognize that we must continue to work hard to bring young Canadians and under employed Canadians into the Building Trades, in order to grow and secure a local Canadian workforce of the future. We have a collective obligation as leaders of the unionized construction sector, to ensure there are ample apprenticeship opportunities available in the trades, for young Canadians and others such as Aboriginal Canadians, women and veterans. While some progress is being made on this longer term solution a more deliberate and intentional effort to create these opportunities must be demonstrated, by the owners and contractors that utilize the ervices of our tradespersons.

It’s important to recognize, however, the economic effects of skilled trades’ shortages in Alberta. That is why, over the last several years the BTA, our member unions and contractor/owner partners have used the TFW Program for acute periodic shortages in specific skilled trades. We have ensured strict adherence and compliance with all of the rules and protocols specified in the

TFW Program Memorandum of Understanding. Specifically, that means ensuring effective methods are in place to advertise and promote Alberta job opportunities to all qualified Canadians. It also means ensuring all workers brought in through our programs are treated with the utmost dignity and respect and are compensated in accordance with the identical terms and conditions of the effective collective agreements received by our members.

More recent events in Alberta and other parts of Canada have highlighted and identified the misuse and abuse of the TFW Program by industries and parties not affiliated with Building Trades construction stakeholders. In these cases we are actively advocating to the appropriate government representatives, both federally and provincially, that the abusers are held accountable and dealt with accordingly.

We understand and recognize that these recent abuses have garnered the frustration and suspicion amongst the individual members of the Building Trades Unions to the point where some have chosen to take independent actions to protest their lack of faith in the system. While we are respectful of these views and opinions, we will continue to support the necessary and proper utilization of the TFW Program when appropriate. We will also continue our efforts to lobby the responsible government agencies and advocate for more stringent oversight and compliance with the objectives and intent of the TFW Program.

This statement has been prepared by the Building Trades of Alberta, on behalf of the Business Managers of the affiliated Building Trades Local Unions.

For more information contact:

Warren Fraleigh
Executive Director
11635 – 160th Street
Edmonton, Alberta, T5M 3Z3
T: 780.421.9400
C: 780-887-3433

Ford Club’s Nifty Fifty Spring Thaw

Teamster Volunteer, Stacy Tulp, along with a number of other Business Agents who donate their time, drives the Local 362 Truck and brings it all over Alberta for different charity events, and to the occasional lock-out and strike. You definitely cant miss the truck – it’s a self-contained monster of an event vehicle that acts as a stage, sound-system, DJ booth, and general attention grabber at whatever charity shindig that it shows up at. You wouldn’t miss Stacy on the Alberta charity circuit either. He’s been doing this for 10 years.

mustangOn Sunday, April 27th – Local 362’s ‘Rolling Billboard’ of a Truck cruised in to Deerfoot Mall in Calgary, AB for the 29th annual Spring Thaw – put on by Alberta’s premiere vintage Ford society – The Nifty Fifty Club. This was the fourth year that the local has attended this event. Stacy was more than a little excited about this showcase, being no stranger to vintage rides. He’s the owner and driver (according to Stacy, even vintage cars are meant to be driven, not babied) of his own 1938 Nash Hot Rod. And while these shined up Fords were easy to gawk at, Stacy knows that these Sundays are all about giving back to the community.

Read the Nifty Fiftys Thank You Letter To Local 362

Teamster-in-page-NiftyThe Teamster’s are always on the lookout to contribute something positive to the community and other unions. At this time, the truck is scheduled to hit 13 different charity events this summer, all in support of local Alberta charities. The truck – the famous horses emblazoned on the sides – shows up free of charge and Stacy often acts as DJ de jour and MC for the day’s festivities. For the Spring Thaw, you could hear the raucous sounds of ‘the Killer’ Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Buddy Holly thundering out of the PA system. Along with providing the day’s entertainment, Stacy also got to peruse the cars and pick one of 10 fine Fords to get ‘plaqued’. It’s a hard-knock life isn’t it, Stacy?

The Spring Thaw’s chief charity for the last number of years has been the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank – an organization that distributes five dollars-worth of food to those less fortunate for every dollar it collects.

blue rideSponsorship Co-ordinator Shawn Heldt has been a past president of the Nifty Fifty Ford Club and says that at every show they do – Stacy and the Truck have been permanent fixtures. The Club loves him, the charities love him – and why not? The Nifty Fifty Club was founded on camaraderie and a love of vintage cars. Teamsters Local 362 promotes camaraderie and love for workers. Charities want to ensure that all people have a chance at a good life. Go figure – so does your Local 362 Teamsters Union.

Stacy looks after his community just like his Teamster barn looks after him – with compassion, dedication, and with a lot of energy.

In the words of the immortal Bon Scott, Stacy… ‘Ride On’.

If anyone is interested in requesting our truck at a charity event, please contact us.