Five Alberta construction unions have voted in favour of their first strike in 28 years as they seek higher wages and improved working conditions at a slate of multi-billion-dollar oilsands projects.


Electricians, boilermakers, plumbers and pipefitters, millwrights and refrigeration mechanics have approved a strike and 72-hour notice could be served as early as today, though a quick walkoff is not yet certain, an analyst said.


“This doesn’t mean that a strike is going to happen but we’re in a position where it could,” said Mark Friesen, an analyst at FirstEnergy Capital. “It’s a risk that can’t be ignored.”


The workers are seeking wage increases, changes to working conditions and a two-year contract instead of a four-year agreement.