Business Manager Mike Gallagher and Toronto Area Supervisor Dave Turple paid a visit to working Local 793 members on Monday as part of a province-wide effort by all Area Supervisors and Business Representatives to service jobsites, speak to members and see how they are doing.
“If members are working, I want our reps out there making sure you’re okay,” Gallagher told a group of Local 793 members working at a GFL site at Weston Road and Finch Avenue in Toronto.
“And that includes me,” he added. “I can’t be Business Manager of this organization by hiding in my house. I want to get out and see our guys and make sure they are safe. We know how difficult these circumstances are for you and your families.”
Watch a video of the jobsite visit HERE.
Monday’s jobsite visits across the province happened just hours before Ontario Premier Doug Ford ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses in the province to help deal with the spread of COVID-19.
The order comes into effective Tuesday, March 24 at 11:59 p.m. and will be in place for at least 14 days.
The government released the list of businesses it considers essential, including construction projects. Various project types will be able to continue to operate as essential services, including:
- Construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space.
- Construction projects and services required to ensure safe and reliable operations of critical provincial infrastructure, including transit, transportation, energy and justice sectors beyond the day-to-day maintenance.
- Construction work and services, including demolition services, in the industrial, commercial, institutional and residential sectors.
- Construction work and services that supports health and safety environmental rehabilitation projects.
Various forms of mining were also deemed as essential services, including:
- Mining operations, production and processing.
- Mineral exploration and development.
- Mining Supply and Services that support supply chains in the mining industry including maintenance of operations, health and safety.
- Businesses that provide chemicals and gases to support the natural resource sector analytical labs and drinking water and wastewater sectors and other essential businesses.
- Businesses that ensure global continuity of supply of forestry products (e.g. lumber, pulp, paper, wood fuel, etc.).
- Businesses that ensure global continuity of supply of aggregates to support critical infrastructure repairs and emergency response requirements (e.g. sandbags, armour stone barriers, etc.).
- Businesses that ensure global continuity of supply of petroleum and petroleum by-products.
For complete list of Ontario’s essential services, click here.
Amid reports of unsanitary, crowded conditions at some construction sites, Business Manager Gallagher had advice for members concerned about their safety.
“I will never stand in front of you and say I want you to go to work if it’s not safe to work. Not a chance. I will never jeopardize our members health and safety.
“If you don’t feel safe, don’t work.”