The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, was a guest of honour at the union’s head office and OETIO campus in Oakville Friday afternoon. 

Minister Hajdu was joined by Oakville MP John Oliver, business manager Mike Gallagher, vice-president and government affairs representative Joe Dowdall, director of Toronto area Dave Turple, OETIO executive director Harold McBride and OETIO director of training and apprenticeship Brian Alexander. 

The visit was an opportunity for the guests to tour the world-class educational and training facility and a chance to speak to students.

“I want to thank you for choosing a skill trade and investing in yourself,” Hajdu told a classroom of students in the tower and mobile crane apprenticeship program. “Our government is investing heavily in infrastructure, bridges and roads and we can’t actually build the things we need unless we have skilled people like you to do it.

“A skilled trade is a really good middle-class job,” she continued. “You make good money, receive good benefits, pay into a pension and you get unionization, which protects your rights in the workplace. We will always support the critical work unions do in training highly-skilled Canadian labourers as they begin exciting careers in the trades.”

The guests also made a stop at the monument and memorial garden on the union property. The structure was built to honour members of the Local who have died as a result of construction site accidents or due to an occupational illness.