Mike Gallagher has been in the construction industry for more than 30 years. He joined Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers in 1985, working in the roadbuilding and sewer and watermain sectors. He went on to become a business rep in 1987 and became labour relations manager in 1994.
Mike was elected to the position of business manager in 1996 and currently holds this position. In October 2005, he was appointed as an International trustee. He also became the first Local 793 member to be appointed as a Canadian pension trustee on the General Pension Plan. In May 2011, he was appointed as an IUOE general vice president – the first Local 793 member since Rowland Hill in 1972 to hold this position.
Mike is co-chair of the Operating Engineers Training Trust Fund and is on the board of trustees of Local 793’s Life and Health Benefits Trust Fund and the Pension Trust Fund. He has held many positions with various construction industry organizations. He is a public appointee on the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. He has been a director of the Multi-Employer Benefit Council of Ontario and the Ontario Construction Secretariat. He is a past president of the Construction Safety Association of Ontario (2004-2005) and past chair of the Provincial Advisory Committee for Hoisting. He was also appointed to a special committee for multi-employer pension plans to advise the Financial Services Commission of Ontario and was on a construction advisory committee set up by the provincial government to study apprenticeship issues. He also spearheaded an effort to get the Ontario Ministry of Labour to set up a committee of employers, labour and government representatives to look at the state of tower cranes in the province’s construction industry. The Tower Crane Review Committee came up with a number of recommendations.
Mike was also co-chair of the Barbara Turnbull Golf Tournament that raises money for spinal cord research. A total of $1.6 million was raised during his tenure from 1999 to 2011. He also spearheaded a successful effort to raise $170,000 to purchase and send a bulldozer to the Mully Children’s Family Charitable Foundation, an organization that helps orphaned children in Kenya. Mike also organized a fund-raising dinner in 2010 that raised $181,000 for victims of the earthquake in Haiti. He also initiated the Gary O’Neill Memorial Golf Tournament that raises money for cancer research at University Hospital Network.
In 2002, Mike was a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, and in 2012 he was a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2013, he received the 2012 Roy A. Phinnemore Award from the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association in recognition of his contributions to construction health and safety.
Mike attended Carleton University. He and his wife, Dorcas, have two children – Nathan and Breeann.