Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Union?

“The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC) is one of North America’s largest building-trades unions, with over a half million members working in the construction and wood-products industries. The UBC is committed to providing the next generation of construction professionals with the tools and resources they need to succeed in a demanding and competitive business.” –

What skills are necessary to become a successful Carpenter or Drywaller and Union Member?

Numeracy, critical thinking, problem solving, accurate measurements, blueprint and specifications reading, planning/organization, effective communication, detail-oriented, dedicated and motivated team member.

What is the first step in becoming a member of Carpenters Union Local 249?

Submit a resume. Ensure to include relevant work history, certifications, proof of education (grade 10 or higher) and letter(s) supporting worked hours. Submit online through our website or in person at 481 Discovery Avenue.

How does the union function? Am I guaranteed employment?

Should you be successful and have been contacted to join Local 249, the following should be understood;

Your name will be placed on the out of work list. When a job becomes available that matches your skill set, level and certifications, you will be called to work.  We cannot guarantee when you will be contacted. We are often notified 24 to 48 hours in advance – therefore, typically you need to be prepared to work the following day NOTE: We operate as a hiring hall for our members. This means, when a member is laid-off from a job, they are placed on the out-of-work list. (The member must call to place themselves on the list, we do not receive notifications from contractors.) The list is sorted by level (Apprentice 1-4, Journeyman), and works in priority sequence, not seniority. When a contractor contacts the hall to request workers, they advise us of which level, job details and site location. You will get a call if:

You are the correct level (Apprentice or Journeyperson) AND You have the skills required for the job AND Your certifications are up to date AND You are the first on the list with all of the above.

How much does it cost to join Local 249?

Initiation fees vary depending on your level of apprenticeship…

How long does it take to complete an apprenticeship in General Carpentry 403A?

There are three levels of school – each level is 8 weeks in length (basic, intermediate, & advanced). It typically takes between 3-4 years to complete.

How much does each level of schooling cost?

The cost per level is approximately $600.00 total. Active members (those in good standing and either working or on the out of work list and available for work) are reimbursed upon successful completion of each level of school.

Are there any incentives to completing each level of schooling and successfully passing Inter-Provincial Red Seal Exam?

Upon completion of the basic level of the general carpentry program, apprentices are eligible for a $1000.00 grant from the government for level 1 and level 2. Apprentices receive a $2000.00 grant from the government once they have successfully passed the Interprovincial Red Seal
Exam. Women are eligible for a maximum of $6000 grant upon completion of all three levels and the Interprovincial Red Seal Exam. For more see:

What kind of training do you provide?

Along with the three mandatory safety certifications, Local249 Training Centre provides courses for all active members. Once you are a member, you can use the online course calendar to reserve a seat in courses you would like to take. All courses are held on evenings and weekends so as not to interfere with your workday. Lunch/or dinner is provided.

Members Responsibilities

You Must pay your dues
You Must attend school
You Must show up for work
You Must contact your foreman when you first get to job site
You Must attend monthly Union meetings
You Must update your personal information with the Local and Benefits Funds Office
You Must call the Hiring Hall when laid off from a job to be placed on the Out of Work List
You Must keep up with your books; save pay stubs; track benefit and wages

Have more questions? Contact us at 613-384-3316 to find out more. 
If you want to continue with your application to become a Union member, click here