Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher welcomed Ontario government officials to the Union’s head office and training campus in Oakville on Monday, Sept. 23.
Ontario’s minister of labour Monte McNaughton, along with parliamentary assistant to the minister of infrastructure, Stephen Crawford, were the welcome guests.
Joining business manager Gallagher was Local 793 president Joe Redshaw, vice-president and acting executive director of training Joe Dowdall and director of training and apprenticeship Brain Alexander.
The meeting was an opportunity to let the Progressive Conservative Party members know Local 793 is prepared to provide advice when it comes to issues of importance, like health and safety in training.
Amongst the subjects discussed was mandatory training and compulsory certification.
“Compulsory certification and mandatory training of workers entering the industry drastically lowers accidents and fatality numbers,” business manager Gallagher stated.
He talked about an independent study by the Construction Safety Association of Ontario, conducted by retired executive director Don Dickie, which found that for the trade of mobile and tower crane operators, fatalities were reduced by over 80 per cent.
Business manager Gallagher did not shy away from letting the guests know he’s not a supporter of the Conservative government.
He did, however, state that since they have formed the government, Local 793 would provide advice on training and health and safety, should they choose to listen.
“I’m not a Conservative but if you’re looking for unbiased advice, we’ll share what we know from our experience,” he said. “We will work with you to help put together a good policy or legislation meant to save lives.”
A short video highlighting the importance of training and compulsory certification was shown in the Union’s newly renovated OE Banquet & Conference Centre.
The video featured a story on Local 793 operator Kyle Knox, a 24-year-old crane apprentice who died in a tragic accident when a drill rig collapsed at a Toronto Transit Commission construction site at York University in 2011.