National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (September 30)

IUOE Local 793 is again proud to observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The statutory holiday, which coincides with the Indigenous-led Orange Shirt Day, was established last year to allow all Canadians to publicly acknowledge and remember the lost children and survivors of the residential school system. It is a vital component of the healing process and is one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action. Local 793 has used Truth and Reconciliation Week to acknowledge the generational injustice of the residential school system, while […]

IUOE Local 793 is again proud to observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The statutory holiday, which coincides with the Indigenous-led Orange Shirt Day, was established last year to allow all Canadians to publicly acknowledge and remember the lost children and survivors of the residential school system. It is a vital component of the healing process and is one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action.

Local 793 has used Truth and Reconciliation Week to acknowledge the generational injustice of the residential school system, while also exploring ways we can all better support our Indigenous neighbours and raise their voices. We do this not just to recognize past trauma, but to rebuild broken relationships in the hope of forging a brighter, more equitable future.

To mark this important day, Local 793 encourages members to wear an orange shirt in solidarity with the Indigenous community and to echo their call that all people are equal and that “every child matters.”

A 24-hour National Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support to survivors and can be accessed at 1-866-925-4419.

Why do we wear orange? #OrangeShirtDay

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a federal statutory holiday first declared in 2021. It is a day to remember the Indigenous children who didn’t return from attending residential schools, honouring the healing journey of the survivors, their families and communities while committing to the ongoing process of reconciliation. September 30 was chosen as the date for the holiday as it coincides with Orange Shirt Day, an Indigenous-led grassroots commemoration that began in B.C. in 2013. The story springs from the experience of Phyllis Webstad, founder, and ambassador […]

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a federal statutory holiday first declared in 2021. It is a day to remember the Indigenous children who didn’t return from attending residential schools, honouring the healing journey of the survivors, their families and communities while committing to the ongoing process of reconciliation.

September 30 was chosen as the date for the holiday as it coincides with Orange Shirt Day, an Indigenous-led grassroots commemoration that began in B.C. in 2013.

The story springs from the experience of Phyllis Webstad, founder, and ambassador of the Orange Shirt Society.

When Phyllis was six years old, she wore a new orange shirt gifted to her by her grandmother for her first day at St. Joseph Mission Residential School in Williams Lake, B.C. However, when she arrived at the school, she was stripped of her clothes and never got to wear her beloved orange shirt again.

Phyllis’s orange shirt has come to symbolize everything that was stripped from the children who attended residential schools across the country.

“I finally get it, that the feeling of worthlessness and insignificance, ingrained in me from my first day at the mission, affected the way I lived my life for many years,” she explains.

A Northern Secwepemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation (Canoe Creek Indian Band), Phyllis has published two books – the Orange Shirt Story and Phyllis’s Orange Shirt for younger children – and tours the country telling her story and raising awareness about the impacts of residential schools.

IUOE Local 793 stands with Indigenous people, both across Canada and within our Union membership, as they continue to call upon everyone to listen to the stories of survivors and their families and to remember those children who never returned home from school.

To learn more please visit: https://www.orangeshirtday.org/about-us.html

Truth and Reconciliation Week 2022: September 26 – September 30

Today marks the beginning of Truth and Reconciliation Week. IUOE Local 793 will use this week as an opportunity to educate ourselves about the suffering caused by residential schools, amplify Indigenous voices and promote the concept of healing. We stand with our Indigenous Brothers and Sisters by echoing their call that “Every Child Matters.” Due to the heaviness of this week, please know there is a 24-hour National Residential School Crisis Line set up to provide support to survivors and can be accessed at 1-866-925-4419. Sources: National Centre for Truth […]

Today marks the beginning of Truth and Reconciliation Week. IUOE Local 793 will use this week as an opportunity to educate ourselves about the suffering caused by residential schools, amplify Indigenous voices and promote the concept of healing.

We stand with our Indigenous Brothers and Sisters by echoing their call that “Every Child Matters.”

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Due to the heaviness of this week, please know there is a 24-hour National Residential School Crisis Line set up to provide support to survivors and can be accessed at 1-866-925-4419.

Sources: National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation: https://nctr.ca

Union of Ontario Indians: https://www.anishinabek.ca/

 

 

General Membership Meeting Report – September 25, 2022

IUOE Local 793 continues to grow and is in great overall shape. That was the message from Business Manager Mike Gallagher at the General Membership meeting on Sunday, September 25, at the OE Banquet and Conference Centre in Oakville. Business Manager Gallagher told the 144 members in attendance that Local 793 had now grown to more than 18,200 and were being served by 205 staff members. He asked, “Who would have believed 10 years ago that we would have grown to that number?” Business Manager Gallagher congratulated former financial secretary […]

IUOE Local 793 continues to grow and is in great overall shape. That was the message from Business Manager Mike Gallagher at the General Membership meeting on Sunday, September 25, at the OE Banquet and Conference Centre in Oakville.

Business Manager Gallagher told the 144 members in attendance that Local 793 had now grown to more than 18,200 and were being served by 205 staff members.

He asked, “Who would have believed 10 years ago that we would have grown to that number?”

Business Manager Gallagher congratulated former financial secretary and Northeastern Ontario area supervisor Bob Turpin and former executive board member and business rep Tony Wark on their recent retirements. As well, Barrie area business rep Justin O’Neill and Southcentral Ontario area supervisor Virgil Nosè were welcomed to their new roles on the executive board.

It was announced that retired business rep and former union trustee Alcino Silveira has been added to the ranks of the Lifetime Honourary Membership for his distinguished service.

Brother Silveira was initiated in April 1969 and worked on conventional cranes and heavy equipment in the sewer and watermain sector. He was hired as a business rep for the Toronto area in 1986 and was also on the board of directors of Local 793’s non-profit housing corporation in Toronto for eight years.

Delegates representing workers at Baffinland in Nunavut were absent after Business Manager Gallagher had urged them to stay home with their families due to the risk posed by Hurricane Fiona, which menaced much of the eastern seaboard over the weekend.

Looking back on the strike in the spring, Business Manager Gallagher reminded members of what they had achieved – and also some of the challenges they had faced down by standing together.

Business Manager Mike Gallagher outside the Sarens head office in Cambridge sitting at a table with a sign reading, ‘ Hey Gallagher, why won’t you come to the table?’

“I knew that they can’t break our members – they’ve never been able to, and they never will be able to,” Gallagher stated. “Not in a three-week strike and not a five-month strike. We are a solid organization from top to bottom.”

He shared a story about his visit to striking members on the picket line outside Sarens in Cambridge, where management had set up an empty chair at a table to suggest that the Union was not willing to negotiate.

“When we got there, I turned to Dave (Turple) and asked him what we should do about that sign. It bothered us. He suggested we rip it up, but I didn’t think we should do that. I thought about it for three minutes, however, and I went and ripped it up.”

Business Manager Gallagher asked members to have patience as plans to develop district hub offices in plots acquired in Hamilton, Oro-Medonte (serving Barrie and Simcoe County area) and Sarnia, as well as one in Thunder Bay that is due to close shortly, have been paused. He said uncertainty in the wider economy, including talk of a recession next year, makes it vital that any redevelopment does not threaten the Local’s financial stability.

“It’s my responsibility to ensure we’re not spending money when revenue is going down. It will happen and, when we it does, it will be a huge leap forward in terms of the financial strength of this organization.”

Business Manager Gallagher also reiterated his determination to find a property in the Sudbury area for members there.

In closing, a resolution was passed with unanimous support for a motion to offer Local 793’s backing for the re-election of IUOE General President James T. Callahan and his executive board, which includes Local 793 Business Manager Gallagher. The election of IUOE officers will take place at April’s International Conference in Florida.

Special Executive Board Meeting Report – September 24, 2022

IUOE Local 793 held a Special Executive Board Meeting at the OE Banquet and Conference Centre in Oakville on Saturday, September 24. The 130 attendees included area supervisors, business reps, staff, delegates, officers, honourary lifetime members and invited guests. Business Manager Mike Gallagher set the tone for the meeting by opening his report talking about his pride at the way Local 793 had stuck together during three difficult weeks in early May when members went on strike for better pay and better work conditions in both the ICI and formwork […]

IUOE Local 793 held a Special Executive Board Meeting at the OE Banquet and Conference Centre in Oakville on Saturday, September 24. The 130 attendees included area supervisors, business reps, staff, delegates, officers, honourary lifetime members and invited guests.

Business Manager Mike Gallagher set the tone for the meeting by opening his report talking about his pride at the way Local 793 had stuck together during three difficult weeks in early May when members went on strike for better pay and better work conditions in both the ICI and formwork agreements.

“I’m still feeling the glow of our success,” Gallagher announced. “We had the highest settlements of any trade out there, so let’s give ourselves a hand for putting that together.”

Business Manager Gallagher did note that two members in the Sarnia area had attempted to cross a picket line during the strike. The men were charged under the IUOE Constitution and By-Laws and subsequently found guilty at a trial at the district meeting on September 22.

“As far as I’m concerned, if you are not willing to support the members who are out there putting their livelihood on the line, a legal strike, we don’t want you besides us,” Gallagher said.

At those words, a round of applause broke out.

With the Union membership now at more than 18,200 active and initiated members, Business Manager Gallagher recognized the work performed by Director of Organizing Kyle Schutte and the organizers.

Since March 1, the Union has signed 31 new voluntary recognition agreements, bringing in 115 new members, and also received nine successful certificates from the Labour Board, bringing in another 77 new members.

“Being an organizer is probably one of the hardest jobs there is,” Gallagher said. “The reason they continue to get up every day and go forward and face the unique kind of threats they face is because they believe in what they are doing.”

In closing, Business Manager Gallagher took a moment to recognize those members who have passed away recently, including 54-year member Dave Grainger, 78, 50-year member Jose Resendes, 75, and 66-year member Rod Allain, 87, the first director of the Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario (OETIO).

Provincial Pipeline and EPSCA Business Rep Mike Scott presented the Pipeline Report, noting that the sector had recovered from the slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with hours worked increasing across the board in 2021 – and expected to grow further in 2022.

He also reported strong ratification votes by members for the Distribution Pipeline (92%) and Maintenance and Service Pipeline (97.5%) agreements.

Looking forward, Brother Scott said the focus is now switching to the Mainline Pipeline Agreement for Canada, as the current deal expires on April 30, 2023.

Responding to Business Manager Gallagher’s earlier praise for the work done by the organizing team, Brother Schutte opened his organizing report highlighting the emphasis that has been placed on organizing in recent years – underlined by the fact that there are now 14 organizers within the Local.

“To be able to organize with a team this big has been a pleasure and we’ve definitely seen results because of it,” Schutte said.

“Since the start of 2022, we have signed well over 1,110 cards. Those don’t always turn into new members but that’s a lot of people who support what we have been doing out there and saw value in supporting Local 793.”

Labour Relations Manager Melissa Atkins-Mahaney began her report looking back on the challenges faced during the spring negotiations and said that several factors had factored into a host of trades, including the Operators, going on strike.

Inflation was the number one concern, while workers were also seeking wage increases because of the sacrifices they had made during the pandemic. Managing expectations, Atkins-Mahaney said, was a key part of the job.

“We’ve got great leadership, great experience and some of the toughest negotiators out there,” Atkins-Mahaney said. “We achieved a $9 increase over three years which amounted to between a 13.8% and 16.5% increase to members depending on what classification members are working under. That is a remarkable number.”

She added that Operating Engineers also made significant increases to travel, room and board allowances and achieved breakthrough language for parking in the GTA.

Toronto Area Supervisor Ryan Wilbee delivered a timely presentation on the hazards of trenching. He reported on two fatalities that occurred in Ajax in August due to a collapsed trench and reminded attendees that members must be empowered to speak up when their safety is not made a priority.

One such trenching incident occurred in July at a watermain and water services replacement project in North York, Toronto. On that occasion, however, the quick thinking and bravery of three Local 793 members saved the life of a labourer who had been trapped up to his neck in a collapsed trench, an action that resulted in the three Brothers being recognized with the Kyle Knox Award.

L to R: President Joe Redshaw, Daniel Rizzuti and Business Manager Mike Gallagher. Brother Rizzuti accepted the Kyle Knox Award on behalf of himself and fellow Local 793 members, Cody Sarasin and Ricardo Silva.

Brother Daniel Rizzuti accepted the award on behalf of himself and fellow members, Cody Sarasin and Ricardo Silva, to rapturous applause.

The award was established in memory of Brother Kyle Knox, a 24-year-old Local 793 crane apprentice who was killed when a drill rig collapsed at York University on October 11, 2011. The award recognizes members who show extraordinary bravery and initiative in rescuing another member, fellow worker or member of the public.

Jeff Hewitt, Director of Training and Apprenticeship, delivered the OETIO Training Report, explaining changes that will allow a record amount of training to be delivered across both the Oakville and Morrisburg campuses in the coming year. One example of a new offering which will be available to members this winter, is a hydrovac training course.

Hewitt also discussed the new equipment that has been purchased since the last report, funded in part through the Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP) and Apprentice Capital Grant (ACG).

In closing, Local 793 area delegates reported on the work situation in different locations across Ontario, including: Mike Reynolds (Barrie), Jordan Jewell (Belle), Joe Guilbeault (Cambridge), Steve Bianco (Hamilton), Sean Smith (London), Frank Ciancone (Oshawa), Guenther Bott (Ottawa), Andrew Premo (Sault St. Marie), Jim Fleckie (Sarnia), Greg Kelly (St. Catharines), Daniel G Giroux (Sudbury), Samuel Wilson-Hadju (Thunder Bay), Derick Morin (Timmins), Karl Weber (Toronto), Peter Sumandl (Toronto) and Leo Temblay (Windsor).

Baffinland jobs safe for now

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. has pushed back the date it was to start letting go of its Mary River mine employees to October 20 instead of this Sunday, September 25. The move came Thursday after the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) issued a positive recommendation on the company’s application for a higher iron ore shipping limit. Read the full article here: https://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/baffinland-jobs-safe-for-now/  

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. has pushed back the date it was to start letting go of its Mary River mine employees to October 20 instead of this Sunday, September 25.

The move came Thursday after the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) issued a positive recommendation on the company’s application for a higher iron ore shipping limit.

Read the full article here: https://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/baffinland-jobs-safe-for-now/

(An aerial view of the Baffinland Iron Mine at Mary River on North Baffin Island. (Baffindland Iron Mine Corp.)

 

Local 793 members are making moves on Cambridge housing project

Brothers Eli Guerra, Jason Jones and Brian Fuller (left to right) are working on an earth-moving project for a new low-rise housing development off Hwy 8 in Cambridge. Equipment: CAT D6 Dozer Company: KMS Group

Brothers Eli Guerra, Jason Jones and Brian Fuller (left to right) are working on an earth-moving project for a new low-rise housing development off Hwy 8 in Cambridge.

Equipment: CAT D6 Dozer

Company: KMS Group

Three members standing in front of the dozer on site

Local 793 members know the drill as they work on Collingwood condo project

Brothers John Sambrook, James Sambrook, Matthias Chiofalo and Luke Hofstee are preparing the grounds for a new condo development including 130 six-storey units. Equipment: Casagrande B300 rotary drill rig and a Davey Drill DK275 tieback drill. Contractor: HCM Group. Project details: https://harbourhousecondos.com/

Brothers John Sambrook, James Sambrook, Matthias Chiofalo and Luke Hofstee are preparing the grounds for a new condo development including 130 six-storey units.

Equipment: Casagrande B300 rotary drill rig and a Davey Drill DK275 tieback drill.

Contractor: HCM Group.

Project details: https://harbourhousecondos.com/

Four members stand in front of a drill rig on site

Member working on right hand side of drill rig Member behind tieback drill on site

Local 793 goes the extra mile for Oakville Terry Fox Run

A fantastic turnout on Sunday as Local 793 staff and supporters participated in the 42nd Annual Terry Fox Run as it returned to in-person since 2019. Inspired and ready to make a difference, participants walked, ran, biked, rollerbladed or used a wheel-chair to make their way around the route at Coronation Park in Oakville. Annually since 1981, the country-wide event pays tribute to the legacy of Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope while raising funds for cancer research. The Oakville community raised $85,536 at this year’s event! IUOE Local […]

A fantastic turnout on Sunday as Local 793 staff and supporters participated in the 42nd Annual Terry Fox Run as it returned to in-person since 2019.

Inspired and ready to make a difference, participants walked, ran, biked, rollerbladed or used a wheel-chair to make their way around the route at Coronation Park in Oakville.

Annually since 1981, the country-wide event pays tribute to the legacy of Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope while raising funds for cancer research.

The Oakville community raised $85,536 at this year’s event!

IUOE Local 793 thanks our staff and everyone who took part in supporting the Terry Fox Run. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year.

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Local 793 members ready the ground for fibre-to-home project in Kitchener

Brothers Joe Guilbeault (left) and Connor Evans (right) are daylighting underground utilities providing hydrovac support for the directional drill near Homer Watson Blvd in Kitchener.  This $11 million project will soon provide high-speed internet access to over 1,000 underserved homes and businesses in the Waterloo Region. Equipment: Hydrovac Western Star HXX Generation 2 Company: Aecon Utilities

Brothers Joe Guilbeault (left) and Connor Evans (right) are daylighting underground utilities providing hydrovac support for the directional drill near Homer Watson Blvd in Kitchener. 

This $11 million project will soon provide high-speed internet access to over 1,000 underserved homes and businesses in the Waterloo Region.

Equipment: Hydrovac Western Star HXX Generation 2

Company: Aecon Utilities

Two members stand in front of the hydro vac