A great way to recognize 100 years strong for Local 793 members. Our 100th anniversary ring will be available in both male and female sizes.
Pre-order the 100th anniversary ring at https://www.jostenscanada.com/local793.html
A great way to recognize 100 years strong for Local 793 members. Our 100th anniversary ring will be available in both male and female sizes.
Pre-order the 100th anniversary ring at https://www.jostenscanada.com/local793.html
Local 793 has developed an internal policy on drugs and alcohol to be adopted by IUOE, Local 793 members as best practices.
It will be updated as the law evolves around the issue. Please see Local 793 Policy on the Use of Cannabis and other impairing substances by its Members.
Local 793 members and their families participated in the Oakville Santa Claus Parade on Saturday, November 17, 2018.
The union was a gold sponsor of the event and had a float in the parade. The Local 793 truck was decorated in white and light blue and had speakers playing Christmas music.
The theme was Winter Wonderland. Playful costumed characters rode the float including a polar bear, snowmen (and women), the abominable snow beast aka the Bumble, Christmas trees, penguins, chipmunks and reindeer. A Local 793 contingent followed the float on foot wearing red Santa hats and handed out lollipops (to those that had been good).
The day was chilly and overcast, but the parade route was lined with thousands of children and adults. Local 793 waved to the crowd as the group wound its way along the route through the downtown area.
The Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) was the first organization in Canada that allowed construction trades to govern themselves, rather than leaving them to be directed by a provincial government ministry. At the time of its creation, the OCOT was also responsible for a much-needed modernizing of apprenticeship and skilled trades training and licensing in Ontario. On Tuesday, the Ford government made a sudden announcement that the OCOT is coming to an end.
Before the creation of the OCOT, it had been over 35 years since any government had acted on changes to technology and training needs to declare a new compulsory trade. A compulsory trade is a trade in which registration as an apprentice, journeyperson candidate or certification as a journeyperson is mandatory. At that time, we at the Operating Engineers were the last to be able to make our voice heard. In 1982, Hoisting Engineer was named a compulsory trade. It wasn’t until 2017 that Sprinkler Fitters were named the next compulsory trade. The OCOT provided a clear pathway by which any trade could apply to formally change their status to that of a compulsory trade.
Local 793 supported the creation of the OCOT right from the start. It provided improved safety and training for our members and a clear process to require licensing and training. Local 793 also supported, and continues to support, the concept of trades being regulated by those with the relevant expertise and direct involvement in the construction industry.
With the OCOT in place, many positive changes occurred that benefitted Local 793, OETIO, our members, our signatory contractors and the construction industry as a whole. The OCOT developed for the first time a Provincial Trade Exam for the Concrete Pump. The operators of TLBs, excavators, and bulldozers had their training standards reviewed and updated for the first time in almost 20 years. Appointees to the Heavy Equipment trade board, working with the OCOT, were also able to get Red Seal endorsement for those who wrote the approved Heavy Equipment Trade Exam. This ensures that our members’ skills are recognized anywhere they choose to work in Canada.
Local 793 thanks those 26 members, staff, and members of management of our signatory contractors who have spent many hours working on the OCOT trade boards, the divisional board, the board of governors and the appointments council. Over the last nine years, they have dedicated their time and expertise to make the OCOT all that it could be.
Of course, the OCOT was not perfect and did result in greater costs for fees and regulations. Safety and skills training, and a timely and enforceable means for addressing all industry concerns, remain top priorities of Local 793. We will meet, and where possible, work with the current Ford government to address our concerns and to continue to advance safety and skills training.
Our immediate priority is to meet with all Local 793 staff and with the representatives of our signatory companies, who currently do work at the OCOT, to discuss next steps. Specifically, our focus will be to help ensure the winding down of the OCOT is done responsibly. Most importantly, we must make sure that the development of a replacement model for the regulation of the skilled trades and the apprenticeship system in Ontario continues to promote safety, skills training and licensing.
RE. Road Safety Measures under the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act, 2015 and the Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017.
Of particular note are the new zero tolerance measures for drivers of commercial vehicles.
Commercial vehicles are defined as:
Drivers of commercial vehicles must have a blood alcohol concentration of zero when driving a commercial vehicle. Zero tolerance sanctions are currently in place, prohibiting drivers of commercial vehicles from having the presence of drugs and/or alcohol in their body, as detected by a federally approved oral fluid screening device or an approved alcohol breath screening device.
If a commercial driver has the presence of alcohol and/or drugs in their system, they will face serious penalties, including licence suspensions and administrative monetary penalties.
The penalties are:
|Licence suspension||Monetary penalty||Other penalties|
|First occurrence||3 days||$250*||Other penalties, such as mandatory education or treatment programs may also apply for repeat offenders|
|Second occurrence||3 days||$350*|
|Third and subsequent occurrences||3 days||$450*|
* Monetary penalties are expected to take effect by January 2019, and will be in addition to the existing $198 licence reinstatement fee.
PLUS commercial drivers will be subject to mandatory remedial education or treatment programs; and, ignition interlock (II) requirements for repeat occurrences.
The IUOE Local 793 held a special executive board meeting at the union head office in Oakville on Saturday, September 22. The more than 125 attendees included area supervisors, business reps, staff, delegates, officers and special guest and special guests such as honourary lifetime members.
Speakers shared that Local 793 now has more than 15,000 members, more companies are being organized and membership support is going high-tech with new web and smart phone access to training records and the pension and benefit plans.
Ronald C. Loucks from NexgenRx was the first to the podium to present Local 793’s new self-administration tool for the pension and benefit plans.
“It is an exciting time for us to be part of the operating engineers,” said Loucks.
Once NexgenRx is implemented, Local 793 members will have access to real time, online claim submissions. Loucks said that transactions can be processed in 3.4 seconds. He added that NexgenRx will bring fast, simple and useful solutions to the members for health benefit claims and pension status.
Members will be able to submit claims by web, email, and mobile app. The app can be downloaded from iTunes and Google, accessible for both iPhone and Android phone users. Members can even submit claims by sending a photo from their smart phone.
Submissions by mail will remain available and members will still have access to their plans by phone.
Loucks’ presentation included a demo of the online portal, showing a user-friendly access point to submit, follow and manage claims at any time in the process, including accessing one’s history.
John O’Grady from Prism Economics, who helped develop the strategic plan for the union, walked members through Local 793’s new direction and updated five-year strategic plan (2018-2023). It was developed after consultation with staff across the province.
This strategic plan will give guidance to the business manager and the executive board as the Local moves forward for the next five years. Copies of the new plan were distributed at the meeting. O’Grady highlighted some elements in the plan including Local 793’s goal of developing and providing highly skilled workers, improving the standard of living for members and realizing a mandate of making safe workplaces.
Over the last five years, O’Grady noted that Local 793 had been a leader in the industry in collective bargaining and in pushing benchmarks for wage settlements and improvements in benefits. He said that the Local has “some of the most complete and rigorous training found anywhere in the building and construction industry.”
The Local will continue to invest in staff training and development, including organizer training and Webinar Wednesdays. O’Grady further commented that “the staff is second to none.”
Business manager’s report
Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher opened his remarks stating that it is a very good time to be an operating engineer. “We are at a pinnacle of our membership and the union is doing well on all fronts,” Gallagher said. “You don’t have to look far to see just where we’re at and how strong we are.”
He also recognized honourary lifetime members, committee members and guest delegates in attendance.
Gallagher spoke of the Local’s history, particularly in the mid-1990s and living through a recession and the turbulent times of existing under international supervision. It was a time he called “soul destroying.”
When Gallagher was first elected business manager in 1996, he found the Local divided. They faced two provincial strikes (in 1998 and 2007) and a number of local strikes. The members came together and continued to come together to work through these times as they organized.
“The shame of that supervision, we had to wash it off,” said Gallagher. “We would show the contractors and the industry that we were a power to be reckoned with.”
They wanted to build a new head office, a new training centre and have a fresh start. The Local presented it to the members as a referendum and more than 80 per cent supported this vision.
In July of this year, Gallagher appointed Joe Dowdall as the first government affairs representative. This was in direct response to feedback from members. This role allows one person to dedicate themselves fulltime political engagement. Dowdall is making inroads in the community and at the provincial and federal levels, which is essential for the Local to mitigate issues.
Noting upcoming opportunities, he mentioned the mining sector and getting those people organized. He also commented on the expansion in Oakville, the residence building for the instructors and students and the potential of lease revenue from the adjacent property.
“All these things will give us the opportunity to do more here and in the outlying areas,” said Gallagher.
He mentioned the Local’s win in a jurisdictional dispute, challenging demolition work against LiUNA, beating the labourers with Delsan AIM at Hydro down at the Nanticoke decommissioned coal generator in Haldimand County. The work in dispute was performed in the electrical power systems sector of the construction industry and was found to be a violation of the Local’s Electrical Power Systems Construction Association (“EPSCA”) agreement.
At the end of his report, Gallagher introduced two videos:
VIDEO pension increase: This was a historic first. Pension meetings with management trustees had never been videotaped. The video shows the moment when the resolution was passed for the 2.5 per cent increase to Local 793’s pension for active members and retirees.
Gallagher shared two examples of what this increase could mean for members.
Active Member Example
VIDEO walk through of the building under renovations at 2201 Speers Road in Oakville. It will give Local 793 an additional 27,000 square feet. Some of the space will be used for staff. Gallagher said that after renovations, the building will be worth $14 to $16 per square foot as additional leasing revenue to the Local.
André Chénier, IUOE international representative, shared his experience with Local 904 in Newfoundland coming under international supervision, saying the biggest challenge was winning over the membership.
Chénier spoke of his experiences related to the Supervision of Local 904 and the role business manager, Mike Gallagher played as the appointed chair of the three-member International Panel. As directed by general president Callahan the panel conducted a two-day hearing in St. John’s, Newfoundland. As prescribed by the International Constitution the panel heard evidence from the membership of Local 904 and International Staff regarding the need for International Supervision. Gallagher was very complementary on the way the members participated in the process and spoke to the proud history of Local 904. At the end of the hearing the membership applauded the efforts of the panel members and the staff.
“That was when the tides started to change in Local 904,” said Chénier. “We were winning the hearts and minds of the members one at a time.”
It was a unique situation. Local 904 is very financially sound, something their 2,400 members had not received reports on in a very long time. Chénier was surprised at the lack of organizing within Local 904, commenting “they had not organized a company from the ground up since 2001 and outside of special projects they had lost market share in the industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) sector.” There are only two signatory road building companies for all of Newfoundland and Labrador, he stated. He found that employers, union or non-union had lost all respect for the brand of Operating Engineers. Clearly, good financial resources and plenty of work doesn’t necessarily ensure a strong local. Good governance supported by the membership is key to success and Local 793 is a great example of this.
“When called upon, business manager Gallagher has been very supportive in providing Local 793’s policies, rules and procedures which has assisted Local 904 in establishing a process of accountability and transparency.”
Whether it was at provincial membership information meetings, one on one meetings with members or training new staff, I often told them our story about Local 793 coming out of international supervision in the early nineties and how it grew into the largest Local in Canada. “I always tell them my favorite saying: this is how we do it at Local 793.”
With a team that has grown to 12 organizers, Kyle Schutte, organizer manager, said that this is the largest organizing team that the Local has ever had.
He recognized some new organizers including Aaron Pede in St. Catharines, Scott Langdon in Binbrook and Brock McBride in Oakville. Schutte shared a story of how Langdon, when instructed not to be seen, got stuck in a swamp in a forest and took hours to find his way back out. Schutte suggested (jokingly) that this should be part of all organizer training as it was a good learning experience.
When Schutte and labour relations coordinator Daveen Lidstone visited the new organizers in training in Morrisburg and they found them still awake, studying, working on homework in a classroom at 1 a.m. He was impressed by their dedication.
He went on to list companies for which the Local has filed applications for certification at the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB). He also mentioned an application for certification filed at the Canada Industrial Relations Board for Baffinland Iron Mines.
Labour relations manager Melissa Atkins-Mahaney gave a timely presentation about cannabis and the operating engineers. As of October 17, people 19-and-over in Canada will legally be able to buy, use, possess and grow recreational cannabis. And it will remain legal for people to buy, use and possess cannabis for authorized medical usage.
Atkins-Mahaney’s presentation was titled “Navigating your way through the weeds.” She encouraged members, if they hadn’t already, to read the labour relations report in the last issue of 793 Operator magazine. It discussed cannabis and separating myth from fact.
“We are tasked with providing a safe working environment for our members,” she said.
Consumption of cannabis can lead to impairment and Health Canada has stated for many years that cannabis will impair a user for 24 hours after use.
She added that cannabis can cause consistent impairment that can go on for weeks or months after use and can be amplified in high altitudes. One then immediately thinks of crane operators and the high elevations of some work sites.
Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), workers in safety sensitive positions are required to report for work FIT FOR DUTY. Atkins-Mahaney explained that this means that they must be free of impairment; free of drugs or alcohol or anything that would cause any level of impairment.
In an effort to provide guidance to Local 793 members out in the field, she announced that business manager Gallagher has instructed her and the legal department to develop an internal policy on drugs and alcohol to be adopted by the members as best practices.
The Local is looking at the policy adopted by the Canadian Armed Forces, which is similar from a safety sensitive work model. Key features of the policy will include
She warned that we should expect employers to engage more and more in random testing and pre-employment testing.
Atkins-Mahaney concluded by saying “Our goals are to ensure that our members are out there operating safely and within the confines of the law. We want people to be responsible and to report for work FIT FOR DUTY.”
Gallagher followed Atkins-Mahaney with a strong statement to members.
“At this point in our history, we are going to be part of the solution. We cannot have sympathy anymore for members that put themselves or other workers at risk out on the job site,” he said. “I, as a business manager, am NOT going to be an enabler.
“Our members need to be responsible. If they need help with alcohol or drugs, we will get them the help they need. But we don’t want them that way on the job, we don’t want them on the highways.”
Local 793 expects their members to be FIT FOR WORK and will put the policy guidelines in place to protect their members, other workers, the public and their union.
Dave Turple, Local 793 director of Toronto area, reported on the 100thanniversary planning for 2019. He unveiled the 100thanniversary logo designed by IT manager Armand Dowdall. Turple reminded attendees that they should email their anniversary slogan ideas to email@example.com. The contest closes October 31. He shared the area locations that will host picnics and said that the picnic and celebration for the Toronto area will be at the Oakville head office.
The executive director of the Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario (OETIO), Harold McBride, was next to report to members. He spoke of the importance of advancing and training through technology and delivering highly skilled operators to industry.
McBride’s report included a presentation of a newly updated, yet to be released website portal developed internally by the Local and OETIO. It also included a preview of the new website.
IT manager Dowdall demonstrated how members would have direct access to their training records, both upcoming and past. It will be available from the website to view or print and accessible from a smart phone.
This speaks to the flexibility of access for members. Gallagher commented that members could immediately show their certification on their iPhone or Android device. And this could be done anywhere with internet access, even for a request on site from a supervisor or the Ministry of Labour (MOL).
In closing, Local 793 area delegates reported on the work situation in different locations in Ontario including Matt Loree (Cambridge), Normand McLeod (Oshawa), Rob Bowden (St. Catharines), Stephen Bianco (Hamilton), Ottawa area rep Jim Laginski presented on behalf of Duke Bott (Ottawa), Angelo Teti (Windsor), Mike Lavallee (Sudbury), Matthew Maginnis (Toronto), who started his presentation with gratitude to the Helmets to Hardhats program which helps war veterans transition into construction work, Jonathan McMaster (London), Matt Pritchard (Belleville), Mike Reynolds (Barrie), John Miners (Sault Ste. Marie), Rob Stadey (Thunder Bay), Sebastian Sepeta (Toronto) and Gord Vandevenne (Sarnia).
Great turn out for members, staff and supporters at the 38th annual Terry Fox run for cancer research in Oakville! On September 16, the run (walk, wheel, bike, stroll, et al) started and finished at Coronation Park at 1426 Lakeshore Road West. Those participating in the event could either walk, run, bicycle, rollerblade or use a wheelchair for the two-kilometre, five-kilometre and 10-kilometre routes.
At the start we had a group picture with energetic Pam Damoff, Federal MP for Oakville North — Burlington. Members, staff and participants wore IUOE Local 793 team t-shirts.
All of us know someone or have a family member touched by cancer. It was good to join the community, raise money for cancer research and work toward Terry Fox’s dream of ending the disease. As of 12noon EDT on September 17, 2018 we raised $1,375. You can still donate and sponsor us at www.terryfox.ca/iuoeLocal793
Special thanks to Local 793 government affairs representative Joe Dowdall for organizing our participation this year!
Local 793 was proud to support the event. Well done everybody who came out! If you didn’t make it this year mark it on your calendar for next year in our 100th anniversary year!
July 25, 2018 – TORONTO: The Renewable Energy Alliance (REAO) members comprise a significant portion of Ontario’s workforce. We welcome initiatives that encourage private sector competition, and those that will make for a more reliable, affordable energy system in the future.
We understand that the Ontario government is committed to finding efficiencies and to lowering electricity bills, but we do not believe that the cancellation of Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) and Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) contracts will accomplish those objectives. We fear the current and future importance of renewable energy to the Ontario economy is being overlooked.
“Renewable energy makes sense for Ontario, providing reliable and affordable electricity to ratepayers,” said Mike Gallagher, Business Manager, IUOE Local 793. “Combined with technological innovation, renewable energy can affordably address Ontario’s power needs in the coming years.”
The price of wind and solar technologies has declined significantly in recent years. Market experts agree that securing zero-cost fuel sources for when Ontario will need power will cost approximately 70 per cent less than the projected retail price to consumers. Many other markets are realizing these benefits now, as time and time again across North America, renewable energy has won competitive procurements for new energy resources. Harnessing and supporting advancements in renewable technologies is also a significant competitive advantage for Ontario, as dozens of companies across the province are actively working on innovation and processes that will create jobs and new export opportunities for Ontario-based companies to access markets around the world.
“Given that renewable energy will cost less than the projected retail price of power in Ontario, the provincial government and system planners at the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) have the opportunity to capitalize on the lowest cost option for new procurement,” stated Brandy Giannetta, Ontario Regional Director, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA). “Effectively lowering the cost for ratepayers, while harnessing Ontario-based employment, should be something everyone supports.”
Renewable energy projects are a ready-made solution for the mining industry and the future Ring of Fire. In addition to financial incentives, these projects provide Indigenous communities with access to non-emitting generation, thereby reducing reliance on antiquated diesel systems.
“The LRP projects had significant long-term economic benefits for not only Curve Lake, but First Nations across Ontario. The cancellation of these projects was short-sighted and goes against the recommendations set out by the truth and reconciliation report with regards to economic opportunities. We consider this a step back, not a step forward on the path to reconciliation,” said Chief Phyllis Williams of Curve Lake First Nation.
The industry employs thousands of Ontarians, who work as project managers and engineers, technicians, tradespersons, service providers and advisors. If renewable energy is harnessed to meet power needs, rather than the province relying on expensive imports that benefit other jurisdictions, Ontario could maintain and create thousands of new jobs in communities right across the province.
“Renewable energy comprises a part of Ontario’s manufacturing industry – with facilities that manufacture hydro turbines, solar modules, racking components, and wind power components,” said Tom Rankin, CEO, Rankin Construction. “The development of these renewable assets has made Ontario a healthier place to live, has maximized grid efficiency and has produced a reliable source of energy.”
As a result of the Large Renewable Procurement and Feed-in-Tariff cancellations, thousands of Ontarians lost meaningful employment, and the integrity of capital investment was undermined. The cancellation of these projects is considered a lost opportunity for job creation, economic activity and local spending in Ontario.
“Ontario has benefited, both economically and environmentally, from the development of renewable energy projects,” said Kim Jarvi, Senior Economist, Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO). “Investing in renewables has improved air quality across the province. An independent assessment conducted by Toronto Public Health in 2014 suggests that improvements in Ontario’s air quality have translated into significant health benefits for Ontario residents, reducing air pollution-related premature deaths by 23 per cent and hospital admissions by 41 per cent in Toronto alone.”
REAO’s members support and depend upon Ontario’s private-sector competitiveness. Superseding the rights of contract holders erodes investor confidence in Ontario, and that will make the province less competitive. Power procurement is not about immediate short-term needs, but addressing future needs, with sufficient time to build the necessary infrastructure. Long-term contracts are a competitive procurement option and provide the stability that supports business confidence and Ontario’s competitiveness.
The Renewable Energy Alliance of Ontario (REAO) is a broad coalition of employers, labour and industry groups dedicated to working with the Ontario government to ensure renewable energy continues to play a vital role in Ontario’s energy mix. At present membership includes the following organizations:
For additional information contact:
Danny Celia, ext. 2116 | Kathryn Peet, ext. 2219
OAKVILLE – On July 13, 2018, the Ontario Government announced the cancellation of 758 renewable energy projects. Mike Gallagher, business manager of Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, says that this is short sighted for the province. For IUOE Local 793, this is about real people (our members) losing real jobs. Contractors losing hiring power. Companies losing projects that rely on our skilled Operating Engineers. Moreover, it may adversely affect investor confidence in Ontario, seeing it as an unstable market in which to invest.
“On behalf of the 14,958 IUOE Local 793 members, I am disappointed with the new Ontario Government’s decision. Renewable energy projects, by their very nature, are able to provide reliable, near-endless sources of clean, low cost electricity for families and businesses. This is a loss for Ontarians and a loss of long-term employment for Operating Engineers.”
In addition to his role as union leader, Gallagher is a director on the Renewable Energy Alliance of Ontario (REAO), which is a broad coalition of employers, labour and industry groups dedicated to ensuring that renewable energy plays a vital role in Ontario’s energy mix.
In October 2017, Gallagher commented that the Ontario Government’s 2017 Long-Term Energy Plan would ensure, ‘the province will be able to generate the affordable power it needs for current and future demand while reducing greenhouse gases and protecting the health of Ontarians.’
“Renewable energy is extremely cheap to get, with some at 4 to 6 cents per kilowatt hour. If you look at it over time renewable energy will make a profit. How do we approach a new government that says green energy is expensive?”
Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers represents nearly 15,000 highly-skilled crane and heavy equipment operators across Ontario and Nunavut. The union has a head office, banquet hall and training campus in Oakville, and another training campus in Morrisburg, Ontario. Canadian locals of the International Union of Operating Engineers represent more than 50,000 operators and have hundreds of millions of dollars invested in equipment at training centres across the country.
For additional information contact:
Local 793 Business Manager Mike Gallagher
905-469-9299, ext. 2202