UA Canada Local 244  


United Association Local 244 was granted its Charter on June 13/1962.

This Local Union was formed by a group of friends trying to improve the standard of living for their Families. Life was not easy for our Charter Members and those who came later.

Hardship has a way of creating loyalty especially when the leaders of the Organization served in the Second World War where loyalty was a life or death situation. A large percentage of 244 Members are proud to say they never worked a non union job in their life.

Our forefathers taught us that if you want to make a living on Travel Card you have to be better than average or you will be on the first layoff. Over the years we did our best to pass the importance of dependability, quality and productivity ideals onto the Membership.

Looking to the future, Unions are and have been under attack in North America and around the World. Sometimes from within.

Unions have historically represented the Middle Class. Our Forefathers were successful in narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor but the tide has shifted and the middle class is losing the battle.

The Union is only as strong as the loyalty of the Members.

Brother Josie Boyd was the driving force for Unionism in Northeastern Nova Scotia.

He was the first President and Business Agent of Local 244 and was also the first Vice President of the Atlantic Pipe Trades.

Brother Charlie Beaton was the Second Business Agent of UA Local 244 and he served as Recording Secretary from its inception until 1972.

Our third Business Manager was Brother Harold  Gilfoy.  First elected Business Manager and Financial Secretary in June 1972. Harold was also one of the Charter Members and like Joe and Charlie he too had Supervisory Experience prior to his term as Business Manager. He was also on the Executive of the Atlantic Pipe Trades and Nova Scotia Building Trades.

Ben Chisholm was and continues to be the Fourth  Business Manager of Local 244 elected in 1984 to present and has expanded on the ideals of his predecessors.

Brother Chisholm has held many Labour related appointments and elected positions during his term of office and is currently President of the Nova Scotia Pipe Trades Association and President of the Atlantic Pipe Trades Association.

Training Background

In the early years all Training was done by the buddy system on the job. The Charter Members played a large part in Organization,  Unionism and Training. Journeymen were more that eager to pass on their expertise.

Work ethic was a big thing back in the 60's and the Apprentices were eager to do the heavy lifting, climbing and running for the Journeyman, especially if he was older. We still use the buddy system today because it works and is cost effective.

Local 244 was one of the first Locals in the country to do their own Welding Training.

It was by necessity more than advanced planning. Scott Paper was having a sizeable Shutdown and Expansion in the fall of 1984.

The job test was changed from the usual 6" Coupon to a 2" Heavy Wall. Most of the Welders had never done a 2" Job Test before. Over half of the first two groups failed the test and those who did pass had bad x-rays. We were not popular with the Owner or the Contractor.

The Local Trade School wouldn't allow us to practice unless it was for an Eight Week Course.

The job would have been over by the time that happened.

We didn't have any money but there was good 220 power at the Shop so we set up under Tarps out back with borrowed equipment and pipe we got from local scrap dealers.

By the following week we were sending Welders to the job who were passing the Welding Tests and X-Rays.

We never had a Welding Job go bad since.

Almost 30 Years later our Welding and Testing Program is more professional and greatly expanded. Through our Joint Agreements with the Boiler Branches in the Maritimes and Saskatchewan. Testing was greatly reduced.

Responses from Employers throughout this Website are testimony to our success. UA Local 244's repair rate still runs a one percent average, sometimes less.

In 1977-1978 a Construction Trades Inventory was done by the Nova Scotia Department of Labour.

There were 1500 UA Members in the Province at that time.

This paper was done Thirty Six years ago and the number one issue was too much technical training and not enough practical experience in the Apprenticeship System.

We are still making the same argument today. Many of us came out of a High School System that taught hands on trade related shop classes. High School graduates at that time had a good range of hands on skills and experience before leaving school.

The number two issue at the time was Certification of the Plumbing and Steamfitter Trades which since has been accomplished and all the Journeymen are Red Seal Certified and all Apprentices are indentured to Local 244/Nova Scotia- Prince Edward Island Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee.

The third issue was Industrial Training for Fitters and Butt Weld Training for Welders. This has also been accomplished, repeatedly exceeding the World Standard of Excellence.

The issue of hands on training for Apprentice Steamfitters and Plumbers has not been effectively addressed other than downloading the responsibility onto the Employer or the Unions.

Hands on training for Apprentices should be paid for by Government and Unions with Training Centers should be doing it. Hands on skills is what we get paid for.

Currently Alex Fraser, one of  UA Local 244's Instructor's teaches the Apprentice Steamfitter courses at the Pictou Campus in Stellarton.

Local 244 does hands on Training for Apprentices at the Union Training Center. This includes fitting up complicated joints for the Welder, Tube Bending, Brazing, Basic Welding, etc..

We also do Pipe Welder Training and Welder Testing and a variety of Journeyman Red Seal, Foreman, Shop Steward etc. courses for Steamfitters and Plumbers.

All courses are based on need and availability, as well as the financing  to do the Courses.

Hours of Operation
Monday to Friday - 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

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