Union Officially Launches Pipeline Training Program

Local 793 has made a considerable investment in a new pipeline training course at the OETIO, showing its commitment to the industry, business manager Mike Gallagher said at a media event to launch the program Sept. 29 at the campus in Morrisburg. “We are really showing a commitment to our industry,” he said in remarks […]

Local 793 has made a considerable investment in a new pipeline training course at the OETIO, showing its commitment to the industry, business manager Mike Gallagher said at a media event to launch the program Sept. 29 at the campus in Morrisburg.

“We are really showing a commitment to our industry,” he said in remarks at the event. “I am very, very proud of what we’ve done here.”

The local purchased two John Deere 850 sidebooms at a cost of $1.35 million and two used D6 dozers for $373,000 to be used in the three-week pipeline training courses.

The union is also putting $11 million into renovations of the OETIO building, he noted.

The first pipeline training course kicked off in June. The OETIO plans to hold eight courses a year in Morrisburg.

The media event was held to showcase the program and give contractors an opportunity to view field training in progress at the OETIO.

Contractors were shown a pipeline training video and were taken on a tour of the site.

Gallagher noted in his remarks that there will be a demand for more pipeline operators if the Energy East project gets the green light.

The project would transport about 1.1 million barrels of oil per day from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries and port terminals in eastern Canada. The pipeline would run 4,600 kilometres and pass through Ontario.

Gallagher said the project would employ more than 3,000 Operating Engineers across the country “so it shows the value to the Canadian economy that this job will bring.”

He noted that pipelines are the safest way to move oil and it would be foolish not to go ahead with it, as there are refineries already built in the east that could handle the oil.

He encouraged politicians of all stripes to take a look at the economic benefits that the pipeline would bring to Canada.

“It will bring good jobs across the country. We all need to get behind it and build it with Canadian workers.”

IUOE Canadian regional director Lionel Railton said Local 793 and the OETIO have shown their commitment to the industry with their investment in the pipeline training program.

Pipelines like Energy East are “nation-building projects” and the Operating Engineers are ready and willing to build them, so “let’s get it done,” he said in his remarks.

John Soini, Energy East project director at TransCanada Pipe Lines, said in remarks at the event that he was “extremely impressed” with the OETIO and the training program.

He said the program and OETIO campus will enable workers to get the skills needed to meet the demand for planned pipeline projects.

He also noted that TransCanada is committed to using the skilled trades and 76 per cent of pipeline work done by the company across Canada has been given to unionized companies.

“I am pleased that our company has a long history of working with the building trades,” he said.

Soini thanked the OETIO for investing in the skills training of pipeline workers.

“Having Operating Engineers involved in Energy East will make sure this pipeline gets built right.”

Flyers mailed to Operating Engineers

The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) has mailed out flyers to most of the Operating Engineers across Canada, regarding the upcoming federal election. The flyer reminds members that it’s time for a change in Ottawa. Click here to see the flyer. Click here for more information on the IUOE campaign.

The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) has mailed out flyers to most of the Operating Engineers across Canada, regarding the upcoming federal election. The flyer reminds members that it’s time for a change in Ottawa.

Click here to see the flyer.

Click here for more information on the IUOE campaign.

Locals stepping up political action

IUOE locals across Canada are stepping up activities regarding political action, Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher told a general membership meeting of the union Sept. 27. He said two very important resolutions were passed at the 57th Canadian Conference of the International Union of Operating Engineers recently in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The resolutions deal […]

IUOE locals across Canada are stepping up activities regarding political action, Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher told a general membership meeting of the union Sept. 27.

He said two very important resolutions were passed at the 57th Canadian Conference of the International Union of Operating Engineers recently in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The resolutions deal with strategic voting in the Oct. 19 federal election and creation of a not-for-profit entity called Canadians United for Change.

The first resolution encourages members of IUOE locals to vote for candidates in a particular riding, be it a Liberal or New Democrat, in order to defeat the Conservative MP.

The second resolution established the creation of a group entitled Canadians United for Change (CUC) that will run campaigns during the current and future election campaigns.

Meanwhile, said Gallagher, Hart Consulting has been hired to do a national survey and the CUC intends to use the Internet and sites like Facebook to get its message out.

“My thought is that we should always have this (group) in place,” said Gallagher. “If we get involved in provincial or federal elections we’ll always be ready.”

Gallagher said Prime Minister Stephen Harper is intent on eroding Canada’s institutions and has stacked the Senate with Conservatives.

“They’re like trained seals. They’re not the chamber of somber second thought. That is not how our Parliamentary system is supposed to work.”

If Harper is re-elected, Gallagher said the prime minister will go after the Supreme Court “because it is the last bastion of civil rights that exist in Canada.”

Gallagher said Harper will start appointing Conservative judges to the Supreme Court and ruin the Canadian system.

The present Tories, he said, are like reformed Tea-Party-type Conservatives and all they’re concerned about is protecting their corporate clients.

Gallagher said he believes that right-to-work legislation is on the agenda of the Conservatives and unions have to stop them.

Local 793 continues to grow: Gallagher

Local 793 is thriving and the union’s finances and pension and benefits plans remain in good shape. That was one of the messages delivered by union business manager Mike Gallagher at a general membership meeting of the union held at head office in Oakville on Sept. 27. “The union continues to grow. We had 13,621 […]

Local 793 is thriving and the union’s finances and pension and benefits plans remain in good shape.

That was one of the messages delivered by union business manager Mike Gallagher at a general membership meeting of the union held at head office in Oakville on Sept. 27.

“The union continues to grow. We had 13,621 initiated members as of August 17,” he said in his report to nearly 300 members at the meeting. “To give you some context, in two years that’s growth of about 2,000 members.”

Gallagher noted that the Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario is also running full-out and is on the way to exceeding 13,000 student training days for the year.

Work Picture

Despite the global economic turmoil, Gallagher said, the work picture remains bright across Ontario.

He said phase two of the Eglinton Crosstown project was awarded to a consortium of EllisDon, ACS Infrastructure Canada, Aecon and SNC-Lavalin, and phase two of the Highway 407 East project was awarded to Blackbird Infrastructure Group which includes Holcim Canada Inc., Dufferin Construction and Ferrovial Agroman Canada.

Construction of a 28-megawatt hydroelectric generating project at New Post Creek is also underway and will employ 60 operators over three years, he said.

Meanwhile, Gallagher said, 207 operators are also employed on New Gold’s $900-million Rainy River Mine northwest of Fort Frances.

As for future projects, he said, Bruce Power is contemplating a lot of work and has plans to spend $1.5 billion a year for 18 years on projects, including reactor refurbishments.

“That is going to provide good work for us and the other trades.”

Construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge over the Detroit River in Windsor, meantime, is expected to start in 2017, he said, and will also provide good work for members.

Finances

On the financial front, Gallagher said consolidated members’ equity was $79,493,978 as of June 30 – 13.7 per cent higher than the previous year – while consolidated assets of the union were $85,238,685 as of the same date – 13.4 per cent higher than previous year.

Total hours worked for the six-month period ending June 30 were 8,189,764 – 8.2 per cent higher than the previous year, he said.

Pension Plan

On the pension front, Gallagher said, the plan returned 10 per cent in 2014 – much higher than the six-per-cent return needed to keep the plan healthy.

He said preliminary data shows the plan returned 7.3 per cent to July 31, 2015 but that has likely dropped to close to four per cent as a result of recent market turmoil.

Benefit Plan

On the benefits front, Gallagher said the plan is in good shape with a surplus.

He noted a number of improvements went into effect retroactive to Sept. 1, 2015 and more are coming on stream on Jan. 1, 2016.

Improvements retroactive to Sept. 1, 2015 include:

  • The death benefit for active members increased to $150,000 from $125,000.
  • The death benefit for spouses and dependents of active members increased to $12,000 from $10,000.
  • The death benefit for retirees increased to $30,000 from $25,000.

Improvements coming on Jan. 1, 2016 include:

  • Vision care for active and retired members will rise to $600 from $400 every 24 months.
  • Active members will be given three days off for the birth of a child and paid $175 per day from the plan, provided they lose wages.
  • The retiree supplementary health care medical expense maximum will be raised to $50,000 from $40,000.

Improvements coming to the group legal plan on Jan. 1, 2016 include:

  • Purchase of family dwelling – raised to $550 from $450
  • Sale of family dwelling – raised to $550 from $450
  • Purchase lot for family dwelling – raised to $550 from $450
  • Purchase/sale vacation property – raised to $550 from $450
  • Transfer of title – raised to $300 from $250
  • Mortgage new or renewal – raised to $400 from $300
  • Divorce for member – raised to $700 from $600
  • Divorce for spouse – raised to $700 from $600
  • Property and custody support for member – raised to $700 from $600
  • Separation agreement for member – raised to $700 from $600
  • Separation agreement for spouse – raised to $700 from $600
  • Defendant representation – raised to $3,000 (not based on hours) from 20 hours at $150/hour
  • Plaintiff representation – raised to $3,000 (not based on hours) from 20 hours at $150/hour
  • Criminal Code of Canada matters – raised to $850 from $700

In other business at the meeting, Gallagher asked for and received a motion to have Frank Hawkins’ name engraved on the back of a chair that will be placed at future general membership and Oshawa meetings.

Hawkins, a 52-year member of the union, died Sept. 24, 2015. He was a regular at the Oshawa meetings.

Gallagher said it’s a very fitting tribute to Hawkins.

Special Called Strike Vote Meetings – EPSCA

Special called strike vote meetings have been scheduled for all Local 793 members working under the Electrical Power Systems Construction Association Collective Agreement. Click here to read the notice

Special called strike vote meetings have been scheduled for all Local 793 members working under the Electrical Power Systems Construction Association Collective Agreement.

Click here to read the notice

General Membership Meeting

Please be advised that a general membership meeting of the union will be held on Sunday, September 27, 2015 in the union banquet hall at 2245 Speers Road in Oakville. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. Click here for map

Please be advised that a general membership meeting of the union will be held on Sunday, September 27, 2015 in the union banquet hall at 2245 Speers Road in Oakville.

The meeting begins at 10 a.m.

Click here for map

Business Manager Responds to Study

Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher has issued a press release in response to a study released by the Broadbent Institute which shows that a $50-billion investment in public infrastructure would generate a significant return-on-investment for Canadians. Click here to read the statement from Business Manager Gallagher Click here to read the Broadbent Institute press […]

Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher has issued a press release in response to a study released by the Broadbent Institute which shows that a $50-billion investment in public infrastructure would generate a significant return-on-investment for Canadians.

Click here to read the statement from Business Manager Gallagher

Click here to read the Broadbent Institute press release

Click here to read the study

 

2015 Labour Day Celebrations

Hundreds of Local 793 operators and family members participated in Labour Day Parades across the province on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. In Toronto, members marched from University Avenue and Queen Street to the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition. Parades also took place in Hamilton, Ottawa, Sarnia and Windsor. Labour Day picnics were held in […]

Hundreds of Local 793 operators and family members participated in Labour Day Parades across the province on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015.

In Toronto, members marched from University Avenue and Queen Street to the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition.

Parades also took place in Hamilton, Ottawa, Sarnia and Windsor. Labour Day picnics were held in Sudbury and Thunder Bay.

All of the apparel purchased for members marching in the parades was 100 per cent Canadian made.
Hamilton

Thunder Bay

Sudbury

Ottawa

 

 

 

Kingston

Windsor

Sarnia

Resolutions Passed at IUOE Canadian Conference

Two important resolutions were passed unanimously at the 57th Canadian Conference of the International Union of Operating Engineers held recently in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The resolutions deal with strategic voting in the Oct. 19 federal election and creation of a not-for-profit entity called Canadians United for Change. Click here for Resolution 1 on Canadian Strategic […]

Two important resolutions were passed unanimously at the 57th Canadian Conference of the International Union of Operating Engineers held recently in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The resolutions deal with strategic voting in the Oct. 19 federal election and creation of a not-for-profit entity called Canadians United for Change.

Click here for Resolution 1 on Canadian Strategic Voting

Click here for Resolution 2 on Canadians United for Change

Unionized Construction Firms are Safer: Study

A new study published by the Institute for Work & Health has confirmed what construction unions have long maintained – that unionized construction firms in Ontario are safer than non-union firms. The study was funded by the Ontario Construction Secretariat and published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Click here to view the […]

A new study published by the Institute for Work & Health has confirmed what construction unions have long maintained – that unionized construction firms in Ontario are safer than non-union firms. The study was funded by the Ontario Construction Secretariat and published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Click here to view the study.

Below is the press release from the Ontario Construction Secretariat.

TORONTO, ONTARIO – (Marketwired – Sept. 3, 2015) – A groundbreaking new study by the Institute for Work & Health, published online today in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, reports evidence that unionized construction firms in Ontario are safer than non-union firms.

The study, which examined Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) claims data between 2006 and 2012 from more than 40,000 construction firms across Ontario, shows that unionized workers reported 23 per cent fewer injuries requiring time off work than non-union workers.

This is the first peer-reviewed Canadian study to examine the occupational health and safety benefits of unions in Ontario’s industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) construction sector.

In particular, workers at unionized firms were 17 per cent less likely to experience musculoskeletal injuries (injuries or disorders affecting mobility, especially muscles, tendons and nerves) and 29 per cent less likely to suffer critical injuries (injuries with the potential to place workers’ lives in jeopardy) while on the job.

Despite filing fewer claims resulting in critical injuries and time off work, unionized workers did report a greater total number of “no lost time” claims – incidents that did not result in lost wages, productivity, or disability or impairment.

“These findings suggest that unionized workers are encouraged to report injuries, including injuries that don’t require time away from the job,” says Institute for Work & Health Senior Scientist Dr. Ben Amick, co-lead investigator on the study with fellow Senior Scientist Dr. Sheilah Hogg-Johnson. “At the same time, these reporting practices enable construction unions to better identify and proactively manage workplace hazards that lead to injury.”

When researchers eliminated the effects a firm’s size has on its overall rate of workplace injuries – larger firms typically have greater resources to devote to workplace health and safety programs – unionized firms still reported 14 per cent fewer injuries requiring time off work, and eight per cent fewer musculoskeletal injuries. (Data for critical injuries could not be measured when controlling for firm size.)

In the journal article, the scientists discuss other factors that might explain the union safety effect. These include more robust specialized apprenticeship, upgrade and safety training requirements for union members; programs and practices that more effectively identify and reduce construction work hazards; a safety net that allows union workers to report accidents without fear of repercussions; ongoing skills training programs that provide a foundation for safer skilled work throughout one’s career; and a more effective role for unions in influencing government regulations designed to improve workplace health and safety.

“Creating safe and healthy workplaces continues to be a core value of the unionized construction industry in Ontario,” says Sean Strickland, Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Construction Secretariat. “This first-of-its-kind study shows that the union safety effect is having a tangible impact in Ontario’s ICI construction sector and through our investments in safety, specialized training and apprenticeship programs the unionized construction sector in Ontario is showing its commitment to being a leader in worksite safety and productivity.”

The study by the Institute, which was funded by the Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS), will be published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Altogether, seven years of injury claims data for unionized and non-unionized firms employing more than 1.5 million full-time-equivalent workers were analyzed for this study.