Executive Board & Trustee Changes

Changes have been made to the Local 793 executive board and trustee positions. Click here to view notice from business manager Mike Gallagher.

Changes have been made to the Local 793 executive board and trustee positions.

Click here to view notice from business manager Mike Gallagher.

Photo Contest Winners Announced

­­Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher has announced winners of the union’s photo contest. The announcement was made at the union’s general membership meeting at head office in Oakville on Sept. 25. Union members were invited to submit their best photos to be judged in a number of categories. The photos were judged by a […]

­­Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher has announced winners of the union’s photo contest.

The announcement was made at the union’s general membership meeting at head office in Oakville on Sept. 25.

Union members were invited to submit their best photos to be judged in a number of categories.

The photos were judged by a three-member committee consisting of director of communications Grant Cameron, IT manager Armand Dowdall, and labour relations rep Daveen Lidstone.

Winners in each category will receive tickets to a sporting event.

Thanks to everybody for submitting entries.

Below are the winning entries.

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RFQ Issued for Highway 401 Rail Tunnel Project

The following article appeared in Daily Commercial News A request for qualifications (RFQ) has been issued to design, build and finance the Highway 401 rail tunnel project that will support the infrastructure needed to expand GO rail service on the Kitchener corridor. The RFQ, issued by Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx, outlines the scope of work required, […]

The following article appeared in Daily Commercial News

A request for qualifications (RFQ) has been issued to design, build and finance the Highway 401 rail tunnel project that will support the infrastructure needed to expand GO rail service on the Kitchener corridor.

The RFQ, issued by Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx, outlines the scope of work required, which includes the construction of a second tunnel under Highway 401/409 to accommodate two additional tracks, future signalling and communications infrastructure and replacing footings of retaining walls that support the ramp from eastbound Highway 409 to eastbound Highway 401.

Teams that qualify will be invited to respond to a request for proposals later this year. This project is part of Metrolinx’s GO Regional Express Rail (RER) work, states a release. GO RER will provide transit service across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and includes electrification of core segments of the GO rail network by 2024-25.

Major infrastructure updates are required to bring better service to communities across the region, including: adding track, modifying GO stations, improving rail crossings, building required systems for electrification and adding new locomotives and train control systems, the release reads.

Click here for rest of article

 

OSWCA Praises Huge Government Water Spend

The following article appeared in Daily Commercial News Sept. 14 was a banner day for Ontario’s water and wastewater construction sector as the provincial government stepped up to announce new funding to supplement federal support previously earmarked for its new Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF). The result is $1.1 billion in joint federal, provincial and […]

The following article appeared in Daily Commercial News

Sept. 14 was a banner day for Ontario’s water and wastewater construction sector as the provincial government stepped up to announce new funding to supplement federal support previously earmarked for its new Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF).

The result is $1.1 billion in joint federal, provincial and municipal spending on 41 Ontario water and wastewater projects, news that thrilled Giovanni Cautillo, executive director of the Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association (OSWCA).

The announcement was made by federal Minister of Infrastructure Amarjeet Sohi, provincial Minister of Infrastructure Bob Chiarelli and Toronto Mayor John Tory at Toronto’s Port Lands. The three levels of government will be spending $83 million on flood-protection measures in the area as part of the pre-development phase of the Port Lands.

Calling the news “fantastic,” Cautillo said the provincial portion of the spending was “found money.”

“It was not identified in the provincial budget,” he said. “It was unallocated money.

Click here to see rest of article

 

 

Local 793 is growing, Gallagher says

Local 793 has grown considerably over the years and the officers have big plans for the future. That was one of the messages delivered by business manager Mike Gallagher at a general membership meeting of the union in Oakville on Sept. 25. “This is your union,” he said in remarks to more than 120 members […]

Local 793 has grown considerably over the years and the officers have big plans for the future.

That was one of the messages delivered by business manager Mike Gallagher at a general membership meeting of the union in Oakville on Sept. 25.

“This is your union,” he said in remarks to more than 120 members at the meeting. “Our only desire is to keep building it.”

Today, he noted, there are more than 14,500 active and retired members, the pension plan has grown to more than $2.3 billion, the benefit plan is doing extremely well, and the union now has close to 160 staff working in offices across the province.

“We’re growing and building the local in a healthy way.”

Gallagher said members’ equity was $87.7 million as of June 30, 10.4 per cent higher than the previous year, and consolidated assets of the union were $95 million.

With lots of construction projects planned and on the go, he said the work picture looks bright for members.

He noted that more work is expected in the nuclear sector with refurbishment of reactors at Darlington starting up and similar work at Bruce Power planned for the future.

Gallagher said he hopes that work will also pick up soon for Operating Engineers at the Gordie Howe International Bridge over the Detroit River at Windsor.

On the training front, he said, the OETIO received $1.5 million from the federal government last December under the Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training Program and an additional $1.38 million under the Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and University to buy five pieces of heavy equipment and a tower crane.

The union purchased a new Liebherr 85 EC-B5 tower crane for the Oakville campus which has bottom and top climbing capabilities, he said.

Going forward, Gallagher said the plan is to hire four more organizers in each of the next three years to keep the union growing.

He said Local 793 has a good crew of organizers who have been working hard and are achieving results, bringing in some good companies.

To do the job, he said, union organizers have to have courage and be a true believer in the cause.

As for future plans, Gallagher said that he hopes to double the size of the OE Banquet Hall in Oakville and has been talking to Michael Spaziani, the architect who designed the head office.

Meanwhile, he said he also wants to build a residence of at least 40 rooms for students who come for training at the OETIO in Oakville.

Union is on Solid Footing, Gallagher says

Local 793 is on solid footing and the financials are in great shape, business manager Mike Gallagher said at a special executive board meeting of the union Sept. 24 in Oakville. The union recently completed an $11-million renovation project at the OETIO campus in Morrisburg and the pension plan is doing extremely well in a […]

Local 793 is on solid footing and the financials are in great shape, business manager Mike Gallagher said at a special executive board meeting of the union Sept. 24 in Oakville.

The union recently completed an $11-million renovation project at the OETIO campus in Morrisburg and the pension plan is doing extremely well in a low-interest-rate environment, he said.

The pension plan is now closing in on $2.4 billion and it earned a return of 7.6 per cent to the end of August this year while last year the return was close to six per cent, he noted.

Those returns, said Gallagher, put the Local 793 plan in the top five-per-cent of all comparable balanced funds.

Because the plan has grown, trustees can now invest another $110 million in the OE Infrastructure Fund, he said, and the union is interviewing additional managers for the fund.

Gallagher said the fund creates jobs for members by investing in infrastructure projects like the Oakville hospital.

In future, he said, fund managers will be looking at investing in projects across Canada and the U.S.

The fund, he told delegates, has returned 17 per cent since its inception.

Gallagher said over the past year trustees have also made a number of improvements to the benefits available to both active members and retirees.

“To me as a manager, it is very satisfying to be able to increase benefits to our members out there.”

The trustees, he said, are managing the benefits fund responsibly and putting the money to work for members.

Gallagher said a catastrophic fund has been added to the plan which can be used to provide additional benefits to members if they are in dire need of a special drug or treatment.

“That’s what separates us from an insurance company. Our members are our family and we want to look after them.”

Gallagher said the union is at a “crucial and important point” in its history and he plans to keep it moving forward.

He noted the union has been successful in getting regulations changed for rotary drill rigs and may get certification soon for concrete pump operators but there is more work to be done.

Gallagher said he plans to hire a dozen more organizers over the next three years, bringing the number to 22, perhaps the most of any IUOE local in North America.

“That will put us in a position at the end of four years of having quite a comprehensive organizing program.”

Gallagher also said he plans to increase training opportunities and bring the benefits of unionization to the far north and Nunavut.

Meanwhile, the business manager congratulated all who were elected, re-elected or acclaimed in the recent union election.

“It is very humbling to be elected by the membership of what I consider the greatest local.”

He said he could not succeed in his job without the help of staff, stewards, members, reps and organizers.

“We have a great team and I do congratulate all the other members who have been elected to the executive board. I’m very happy with the board that we have.”

On the topic of social media, Gallagher said the executive board has approved a policy that was drawn up by staff and outside legal counsel.

Social media, he said, can be a great way to communicate with members but it can also cause problems if members are not careful with comments they might post or tweet.

The policy sets out how members should conduct themselves when using social media.

“I think it’s the right way to go. We’ve got legal advice on it and it’s good advice. I think more than anything else we’re protecting members’ privacy.”

Gallagher said members should be careful about what they post on social media because material can be viewed by others and political parties and used during elections.

Labour relations manager Ken Lew said in a presentation at the meeting that it’s important for the organization to have a social media policy in place.

“I see this as very much likened to our collective agreements” so members know the rules, he said. “This is all about being clear on the rules so members across the province know the benefits of social media.”

Click here to view the social media policy

In other business at the meeting:

Mike Chenier, co-chair of the 2016 union election committee, reported that 25 per cent of the election ballots were returned, the same as in the election in 2012.

He thanked members of the election committee for working in unison and said members can rest assured that the election was conducted in a fair manner and in accordance with the union constitution.

IUOE Canadian government affairs director Steve Schumann reported that the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is in limbo because of the U.S. election.

He noted that the Operating Engineers oppose the deal because a section of the TPPA will allow foreign companies to bid on construction projects in Canada and come in with an entire foreign workforce to build them.

“The TPPA, as it’s written right now, is a bad deal for Operating Engineers and a bad deal for Canada.”

He said the Canadian office of the IUOE is conducting a digital campaign to raise awareness of opposition to the TPPA and developing a plan “to stop this at all costs.”

IUOE locals will be asked to get their members to write their MPs objecting to the TPPA, he said.

IUOE Canadian director Lionel Railton provided an update on the Energy East pipeline project.

He said the Operating Engineers have hired Hill + Knowlton to do a media campaign with messages from Operating Engineers explaining why pipelines are important to Canada.

He said a ceremony held earlier this year in Ottawa to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with TransCanada was a very proud moment for the Operating Engineers.

Railton and business manager Gallagher had started talking with TransCanada in 2012 and sat down with a company official at a pipeline training media event in Morrisburg last year and indicated the Operating Engineers wanted to build the pipeline with unionized trades.

OETIO executive director Harold McBride said 2016 has been an extremely busy year.

He said the renovation and rebuild project in Morrisburg has been completed and an opening ceremony will be held Nov. 4.

He noted that the training campus in Morrisburg didn’t lose any student hours as a result of the project.

New training initiatives such as pipeline training and foundation drill rig courses were the focal point of the OETIO this year, he said.

The National Training Fund in the U.S., he said, wants to use the model for drill rig courses developed by Local 793 as a standard for its new training centre being built in the U.S.

Local 793 Social Media Policy

Local 793 has adopted a social media policy for its members. The policy was approved by the executive board and reported by business manager Mike Gallagher at a general membership meeting Sept. 25 at head office in Oakville. Click here to view the policy.    

Local 793 has adopted a social media policy for its members. The policy was approved by the executive board and reported by business manager Mike Gallagher at a general membership meeting Sept. 25 at head office in Oakville.

Click here to view the policy.

 

 

Local 793 Supports Terry Fox Run

Local 793 proudly supported the Terry Fox Run in Burlington on Sept. 18. About 40 union members and staff, including business manager Mike Gallagher, participated in the five-kilometre walk. Local 793 organizer Brian Rogerson did the five-kilometre run. Participants raised $4,015 for the cause. Union members wore T-shirts with the union name on the back. […]

Local 793 proudly supported the Terry Fox Run in Burlington on Sept. 18.

About 40 union members and staff, including business manager Mike Gallagher, participated in the five-kilometre walk. Local 793 organizer Brian Rogerson did the five-kilometre run.

Participants raised $4,015 for the cause.

Union members wore T-shirts with the union name on the back.

Wendy de Pencier was the top fundraiser on the Local 793 team, raising $470.

This was the 34th year of the Burlington event.

The run started and finished at the Brant Street Pier at Spencer Smith Park on Burlington’s lakeshore. The route followed the lake shoreline.

Purpose of the run was to raise money for cancer research and realize Terry Fox’s dream of ending the disease.

Special thanks to Local 793 organizer Russ McBeath and his wife, Jody, for organizing the union’s participation in the event.

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General Membership Meeting on Sept. 25

Local 793’s general membership meeting is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016 in the OE Banquet Hall at 2245 Speers Road in Oakville. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. Click here for map.

Local 793’s general membership meeting is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016 in the OE Banquet Hall at 2245 Speers Road in Oakville. The meeting begins at 10 a.m.

Click here for map.

Pipeline Contractors Student Award Program

The Pipe Line Contractors Association of Canada has a Student Award Program for sons, daughters or wards of a person whose principal income is derived from the pipeline construction industry. Deadline for applications is Oct. 14, 2016. Awards are offered each year for a student enrolled in a full-time program at a recognized Canadian accredited […]

The Pipe Line Contractors Association of Canada has a Student Award Program for sons, daughters or wards of a person whose principal income is derived from the pipeline construction industry.

Deadline for applications is Oct. 14, 2016.

Awards are offered each year for a student enrolled in a full-time program at a recognized Canadian accredited postsecondary institution.

As mentioned above, to qualify, an applicant must be a son, daughter or ward of a person whose principal income is derived from the pipeline construction industry. The parent or guardian of the applicant must be employed by or have a history of employment with a company who is a member or partner of the Pipe Line Contractors Association of Canada.

The applicant must provide proof of full-time enrollment in a program leading to a diploma or degree in any field at a recognized Canadian college or university. Applications received from students enrolled in post-graduate programs may also be considered.

Application forms need to be completed through the website at www.pipeline.ca awards section. For more information, please contact the Pipe Line Contractors Association of Canada at 905-847-9383 or e-mail plcac@pipeline.ca.