Members Honoured for Years of Service

Local 793 has grown into a large and respected union because of the skills and professionalism of its long-service members. That was the message delivered by business manager Mike Gallagher in remarks at a long-service awards ceremony Dec. 2 at the OE Banquet Hall and Conference Centre at head office in Oakville. He said union […]

Local 793 has grown into a large and respected union because of the skills and professionalism of its long-service members.

That was the message delivered by business manager Mike Gallagher in remarks at a long-service awards ceremony Dec. 2 at the OE Banquet Hall and Conference Centre at head office in Oakville.

He said union members have built the biggest Operating Engineers local in Canada, with close to 15,000 members, and have, without question, the best reputation of any other construction union.

“And, it’s not just because of the money that we’ve spent on facilities or the equipment that we have out in the yard which looks so impressive,” he said. “It’s because of the record that you have in performing work out in the field safely and efficiently and that is known throughout North America.”

More than 150 members received awards at the ceremony for 60, 55, 50, 40 and 30 years of service to the union. Many of the honourees were accompanied by their spouses or family members.

In remarks at the beginning of the ceremony, Gallagher said he is proud of what the officers and the members have been able to accomplish over the years.

“I’m proud of the growth of the local, but the thing I’m most proud of is to be the business manager of this group of members that I hold in such very high regard. I understand what a privilege that is.”

He noted that Local 793 crane operators are in great demand and those who work in the pipeline industry can find work almost anywhere because of the reputation set by long-service members.

Over the years, he said, the union has faced a number of challenges, like when Premier Mike Harris and his government tried to undermine unions, but members fought back and continued to organize.

Gallagher, who has been business manager for 22 years, said he’s honoured to be at the helm of the union.

He said he’s seen a lot of changes over that time, one being that the membership has doubled to close to 15,000.

The Territory of Nunavut was also added to Local 793’s charter, he said, after the union requested and IUOE general president James T. Callahan approved the move.

The addition of Nunavut is important to the future of the local, Gallagher said, because there are a dozen large mines in the territory, including one on Baffin Island operated by a company called Baffinland that has more than 900 employees.

“We’re busy organizing that group right now and have been very well received,” he said, “not only by the employees but by the employer.”

Gallagher said the contractor has agreed to contract training with Local 793 for Inuit that live in the area “so that’s a very exciting challenge for the future.”

In his remarks, he said the union is doing well financially and the pension and benefit plans are in good shape.

“I’m very proud of the benefit plan, I’m proud of the pension plan. I’m proud of the union growth and the fact that our membership has grown.”

The pension plan, he said, now has assets of just under $2.7 billion and is almost 100 per cent funded on a going-concern basis.

The plan has recovered from the recession of 2008, he said, and the reductions that were put in place then have been rolled back and trustees recently, on the advice of the actuary, were able to improve the plan by making unreduced retirement at age 60 a permanent feature. Previously, trustees granted consent for unreduced retirement at age 60 on a year-by-year basis.

“A major priority for us is to make sure the pension remains there for not only you but the active members and members coming up,” Gallagher said. “I would say it’s one of the best pension plans if you look at the average amount of money that members take out of the plan on a monthly basis once they retire, compared to any of the other building trades, and that’s exactly the way we want it.

“We want it to continue to be strong and we want it to continue to provide income for you into your twilight years after you retire from the local. It’s a major, major focus for us.”

The benefit plan, meanwhile, is also in good shape and is solvent, Gallagher told the long-service members.

He said trustees have put a subcommittee together to consider improvements to the plan and members and retirees are welcome to put forward suggestions.

“We want to keep improving the plan and making it stronger and better for the members. It has to stay healthy, it has to stay solvent, but we’re not there to build a mountain of money, we’re there to provide benefits for our membership and we’re going to continue to do that.”

At the end of his remarks, Gallagher thanked long-service members for their years of service to the union.

“I appreciate every one of you in here. I appreciate you and your families and I understand how important the union is to you, how important the pension plan is to you, and how important the benefit plan is to you. I know how important all these investments have been to you. The union belongs to you and, since I’ve been there, I’ve wanted to make sure we never ever forget that you’re number one.”

During the ceremony, Gallagher read out a letter sent to him by Robert McKay, a 40-year member who was unable to make the event due to an illness. His daughter accepted the award on his behalf.

At the ceremony, winners of the Douglas H. Campbell Awards were also announced. The winners were:

  • Top Tower Crane Apprentice – Dave Geno of Barrie who works for Verdi Alliance Equipment
  • Top Mobile Crane Apprentice – Bruce Cringan of Stouffville who works for Thomkess Crane Rental
 

Annual Dinner Dance Held at OE Banquet Hall

Local 793’s annual dinner dance was held at the OE Banquet Hall and Conference Centre at head office in Oakville on Dec. 2. About 500 people, many of them long-service members, attended the event. Speakers included business manager Mike Gallagher, Labour Minister Kevin Flynn, Oakville Mayor Rob Burton and Dr. Gail Darling of Toronto General […]

Local 793’s annual dinner dance was held at the OE Banquet Hall and Conference Centre at head office in Oakville on Dec. 2.

About 500 people, many of them long-service members, attended the event.

Speakers included business manager Mike Gallagher, Labour Minister Kevin Flynn, Oakville Mayor Rob Burton and Dr. Gail Darling of Toronto General Hospital.

In his remarks, business manager Gallagher talked about the importance of the union’s long-time members and the contributions they have made over the years.

“Our members have a terrific reputation for the work that they do and we certainly enjoy, at this time of the holiday season, to be able to come out here and recognize all of our long-service members.”

Earlier in the day, the union held its annual long-service awards ceremony to honour members who’ve been in the union for 60, 55, 50, 40 and 30 years.

Gallagher noted that he read a letter at the ceremony from 40-year member Robert McKay who was unable to be there due to ill health. His daughter accepted the award on his behalf.

“We really should, at this time of year, remember people, including within our own families, that are not feeling well or have recently suffered a loss in their family,” he said.

“Certainly our hearts go out to everybody that’s in that situation, including members across the province that couldn’t be here tonight.”

Gallagher also talked about Bill 148, known as the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, which was brought in by Labour Minister Flynn and the Liberal government, which raises the minimum wage to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, 2018 and to $15 an hour on Jan. 1, 2019.

He said some employers are not happy with raising the minimum wage but it’s the right thing to do for lower-earning workers.

Some of the workers who will benefit are the sons and daughters of Local 793 members who are earning minimum wage and trying to get a start in life, he noted.

“It’s about time that the minimum wage was raised and I give credit to the government for doing that.”

The minimum wage in Ontario has been subject to periods of freezes and ad hoc increases over the last two decades. Presently, the minimum wage is $11.40 an hour.

In his remarks, Gallagher gave credit to the provincial Liberals and, in particular, Labour Minister Flynn, who is MPP for Oakville, for the work he’s doing on behalf of Ontario’s workers.

“Kevin has done a terrific job as the minister of labour,” he said. “I know him personally to be a very, very passionate person who absolutely cares.”

Gallagher said Flynn listens to the concerns of unions and he understands the building trades because his father was a tradesman and union member.

He said that Flynn led the charge on mandatory training for rotary drill rig operators after the death of Local 793 apprentice Kyle Knox at a subway construction site at York University in Toronto on Oct. 11, 2011, and made sure legislation was passed to correct the situation.

“Kevin Flynn pushed it through and did the right thing and made sure that we can prevent an operator error accident from ever happening again with rotary drill equipment by requiring the operator to have a crane licence before they operate a rotary drill.”

Flynn repaid the comment, noting in his remarks that when he needs to discuss an issue regarding the construction industry he goes to Gallagher.

“You’re so lucky to have Mike as your business manager in this organization,” he said. “Your organization is held in such high esteem by the Province of Ontario and I think you’re an example to the rest of the province as to how an organization should conduct itself.”

He said Gallagher has provided advice on the College of Trades, apprenticeships, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and more.

“When I look at the executive and the other people that assist Mike on a daily basis, I know that, as the minister of labour, I’m getting some of the best advice that I can possibly get and that only means good things for business in Ontario and it means good things for the working people of Ontario as well.”

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton noted in his remarks that a number of projects have been built or are about to get started in Oakville, and that the town has an exemplary safety record.

At the dinner dance, business manager Gallagher and Local 793 president Joe Redshaw presented a cheque for $131,485 to Dr. Darling, director of thoracic surgery clinical research at Toronto General Hospital, for the esophageal cancer program at University Health Network in Toronto.

The funds were raised at the sixth annual Gary O’Neill Memorial Golf Tournament held this past summer in Milton. So far, the tournament has raised $612,912 for research.

In her remarks, Dr. Darling said researchers are working on a breath test analyzer that will detect signs of esophageal cancer.

“You’ve probably heard about that in the press and it’s actually coming,” she said. “We’re hoping that we’ll be able to do a breathalyzer test to see if they are at a risk for the cancer.”

 

Schedule of District Meetings in December

Please be advised that a number of monthly district union meetings have been cancelled in December due to their proximity to Christmas. The following monthly district meetings have been cancelled in December: Belleville London Hamilton Ottawa North Bay Barrie Sarnia The following monthly district meetings are still scheduled in December: Timmins – Wednesday, Dec. 6, […]

Please be advised that a number of monthly district union meetings have been cancelled in December due to their proximity to Christmas.

The following monthly district meetings have been cancelled in December:

  • Belleville
  • London
  • Hamilton
  • Ottawa
  • North Bay
  • Barrie
  • Sarnia

The following monthly district meetings are still scheduled in December:

  • Timmins – Wednesday, Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m., 54 Waterloo Rd., Unit 2, Timmins
  • Oshawa – Thursday, Dec. 7, 7 p.m., 1255 Terwillegar Ave., Unit 7, Oshawa
  • Thunder Bay – Thursday, Dec. 7, 8 p.m., 979 Alloy Drive, Suite 101, Thunder Bay
  • St. Catharines – Tuesday, Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m., 188 Bunting Rd., Unit 5, St. Catharines
  • Windsor – Tuesday, Dec. 12, 7 p.m., 3383 Walker Rd., Windsor
  • Sault Ste. Marie – Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m., 432 Great Northern Rd., Suite 203, Sault Ste. Marie
  • Cambridge – Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m., 100 Sheldon Dr., Unit 10, Cambridge
  • Sudbury – Tuesday, Dec. 19, 8 p.m., 430 Westmount Ave., Unit H, Sudbury
  • Toronto – Wednesday, Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m., 2245 Speers Rd., Oakville
 

Defence Assessments Due for 2018

Please be reminded that defence assessment payments for 2018 are due by the end of 2017 for Local 793 members. The annual assessment is $30. Members can make payments in several ways. For example: Members can pay business representatives. Members can make payments in person at head office or any district office. Payments must be […]

Please be reminded that defence assessment payments for 2018 are due by the end of 2017 for Local 793 members.

The annual assessment is $30.

Members can make payments in several ways. For example:

  • Members can pay business representatives.
  • Members can make payments in person at head office or any district office. Payments must be made by credit card, debit or cheque. Offices do not accept cash.
  • Members can login to the members section of the union website by clicking here and make a payment.
  • Members can mail payments to head office at 2245 Speers Road, Oakville, Ont., L6L 6X8.

When mailing a payment, please ensure it is marked on the envelope as a “Defence Assessment Payment.” The cheque should be made payable to IUOE Local 793.

The fund provides money for the “defence of actions commenced in labour disputes against the local, its officers or members,” according to the bylaws.

The fund is administered by a committee comprised of the business manager, president, recording-corresponding secretary, one other officer selected by the executive board, and five other members who represent different regions of the province as determined by the executive board.

Money in the fund is used to help defray costs incurred by the union as a result of a labour dispute, including strikes or lockouts, and any legal and other fees and expenses incurred in the defence of interests of Local 793.

The account of the defence fund is audited annually by a chartered accountant.

If you have any questions, please call the dues department at head office at 905-469-9299.

 
 
 

Make Sure Your Address is Up to Date

February 2018 is when income tax receipts for benefits and union dues will be issued to members so please make sure that the union has your most current address on file. If there are any changes to your address, please update your address online in the members’ section of the union website at www.iuoelocal793.org or […]

February 2018 is when income tax receipts for benefits and union dues will be issued to members so please make sure that the union has your most current address on file.

If there are any changes to your address, please update your address online in the members’ section of the union website at www.iuoelocal793.org or contact your local union office by December 31, 2017.

 
 

Changes Coming to OHIP Drug Coverage Rules

Please be advised that as of Jan. 1, 2018, the province will provide free prescription drug coverage for children and youth aged 24 and under, regardless of family income or whether they already have private insurance under a parent. This means that parents of children under 15 and young adults from 16 to 24 must […]

Please be advised that as of Jan. 1, 2018, the province will provide free prescription drug coverage for children and youth aged 24 and under, regardless of family income or whether they already have private insurance under a parent.

This means that parents of children under 15 and young adults from 16 to 24 must present their OHIP card and a valid prescription from their doctor or nurse practitioner when they visit their pharmacist for a prescription.

Coverage stops on the patient’s 25th birthday.

OHIP will cover all drugs currently available through the Ontario Drug Benefit program. This includes more than 4,400 drug products for acute and chronic illnesses.

If the drug is not covered under the provincial plan, Local 793 members will have to present their drug card at the pharmacy to determine whether or not the prescription is covered for their eligible dependent’s claim under the union benefit plan.

For more information, call 1-866-532-3161 or click here.

 

Local 793 Participates in Santa Claus Parade

Local 793 members and their families participated in the Oakville Santa Claus Parade on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. The union was a gold sponsor of the event and had a float in the parade. Theme of the parade was A Canadian Christmas through the Decades. Local 793 chose to mark Christmas in the 70s. There […]

Local 793 members and their families participated in the Oakville Santa Claus Parade on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017.

The union was a gold sponsor of the event and had a float in the parade.

Theme of the parade was A Canadian Christmas through the Decades. Local 793 chose to mark Christmas in the 70s.

There was a slight drizzle of rain in the air, but the parade route was lined with thousands of children and parents.

Many of the participants in the Local 793 contingent were dressed as toys from the 70s.

The parade wound its way through the downtown area.

Children rode on the float.

 
 
 
 

Local 793 and Aecon Sign Memorandum of Understanding

Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher has received assurances from Aecon Group Inc. that the company’s practices with respect to the bargaining rights of the union will not be adversely impacted by its pending acquisition by CCCC International (CCCCI) Holding Ltd. of China. Gallagher met with Aecon president and CEO John Beck on Nov. 13 […]

Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher has received assurances from Aecon Group Inc. that the company’s practices with respect to the bargaining rights of the union will not be adversely impacted by its pending acquisition by CCCC International (CCCCI) Holding Ltd. of China.

Gallagher met with Aecon president and CEO John Beck on Nov. 13 and signed a Memorandum of Agreement that confirmed that collective agreements will be honoured and the relationship between the union and company will not change as a result of the sale.

“Aecon is an iconic Canadian construction company that is one of our largest employers,” Gallagher said. “Nearly 600 of our members are employed by the company and we were concerned as to how the acquisition would affect our members and relationship with Aecon.

“We have a long-standing and successful relationship with Aecon and I wanted to ensure that it continued going forward. I am pleased to report that this Memorandum of Understanding has been signed as it confirms our commitment to continue working together.”

Gallagher had been concerned about issues such as job security for Local 793 members and the hiring of Indigenous and northern peoples for projects in their communities. He wanted assurances that bargaining rights of Local 793 would not be affected, and a commitment to ensuring that programs to bring in foreign workers are not used if the sale is approved.

On Nov. 6, he met in Ottawa with a senior policy advisor from Industry Canada. The Nov. 13 meeting with Aecon CEO Beck was arranged to bring the union’s concerns to the table. Beck also signed a similar MOU the same day with IUOE Canadian director Lionel Railton.

Aecon, a Toronto-based publicly traded company, announced in August it was seeking a buyer so it could compete for larger projects. On Oct. 26, engineering and construction giant CCCCI said it had agreed to pay $20.37 per Aecon share to buy the company for $1.19 billion.

The company will continue to be headquartered in Canada.

The MOU with Local 793 lays out nine specific commitments by Aecon and the union.

For starters, the parties confirmed a mutual commitment to work together to achieve and maintain the high Canadian standards of corporate governance currently adhered to by Aecon.

The company also confirmed that its current treatment of, and practices with respect to, the bargaining rights of Local 793 will not be adversely impacted by the acquisition.

In the MOU, the parties also stated they mutually recognize the importance of continuity in both management and production workforces and the value of the retention of Aecon’s Canada-based employees.

Aecon also stated it remains committed to its established practice of working with and hiring Indigenous and northern peoples for projects in their communities, its participation in the Helmets to Hardhats program, and working with Local 793 on them and other similar employment initiatives.

The MOU also states that Aecon recognizes the job security interests of Local 793 and that the union will continue to supply Aecon with qualified Operating Engineers. In doing so, the company and union agreed to “work together to ensure that the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the intra-company transfer program of the federal government are not utilized following the acquisition in a way at odds with the union security provisions of the collective agreements to which each employer is bound, or otherwise decreases the level of job security held by members of Local 793.”

Aecon also confirmed its core value commitment to a safety-first culture and continuing its historic embrace of Ontario-specific health and safety laws and regulations, including those pertaining to training and licensing requirements.

Meanwhile, Aecon agreed that, following the acquisition, it will keep Local 793 informed of major decisions in respect of future growth so the parties can promote positive outcomes while avoiding the potential of future conflict.

Both Aecon and the union agreed that the terms of the MOU be incorporated into the applicable collective agreements between each employer and Local 793, and that the contents of the MOU would not be used to create or expand the bargaining rights of Local 793 with any Aecon affiliates or subsidiary or between the employers.

It is important to note that the MOU does not prevent Local 793 from bringing related or successor employer actions against Aecon.

A number of regulatory approvals must be met before the takeover goes through. The offer requires government and regulatory approvals under the Investment Canada Act.

 
 
 

2017 Jack Redshaw Scholarship Winners Announced

Winners of the 2017 Jack Redshaw Scholarship Fund awards have been announced. There were 10 winners this year. Each received a scholarship of $5,000. The winners are: Megan Cadieux Sara Corvinelli Rebecca DaSilva Darrell Hill Carmen Lalonde Matthew Millar Daniele Mognon Nicole Stewart Regan Redshaw Marissa Uzonyi The awards are available to the sons, daughters […]

Winners of the 2017 Jack Redshaw Scholarship Fund awards have been announced.

There were 10 winners this year. Each received a scholarship of $5,000.

The winners are:

  • Megan Cadieux
  • Sara Corvinelli
  • Rebecca DaSilva
  • Darrell Hill
  • Carmen Lalonde
  • Matthew Millar
  • Daniele Mognon
  • Nicole Stewart
  • Regan Redshaw
  • Marissa Uzonyi

The awards are available to the sons, daughters and grandchildren of members who are in good standing and entering the first or subsequent year of a full-time course of study of at least two years in length, leading to a diploma, certificate or degree from any recognized public Canadian college or university.

Deadline for the 2018 awards is Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018.

Click here for an application form for the 2018 awards.

Members Invited to Oakville Santa Claus Parade

Local 793 members and their families are invited to participate in the Oakville Santa Claus Parade being held Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. The union is a gold sponsor of the event and will have a float in the parade. Parade start time is 9 a.m. (rain or shine). Members and families walking in the parade […]

Local 793 members and their families are invited to participate in the Oakville Santa Claus Parade being held Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017.

The union is a gold sponsor of the event and will have a float in the parade.

Parade start time is 9 a.m. (rain or shine). Members and families walking in the parade are asked to meet at 8:15 a.m. Meeting location is at Robinson Street and Trafalgar Road in downtown Oakville. The union float is #3.

Walking behind the float requires no pre-registration. However, if a member wants a child to ride on the float, please get in touch with Julie Nakaza at jnakaza@oetio.com to secure a spot. Seating on the float is limited.

Theme of this year’s parade is A Canadian Christmas Through the Decades. Local 793 has chosen to mark Christmas in the 70s.

The parade route starts at Lakeshore Road East and Reynolds Street, goes west along Lakeshore Road East, north on Kerr Street, west on Stewart Street and finishes at Felan Avenue.

Click here for a map of the parade route and more information about the parade.