Campaign Launched by Unions Over BC Pipeline

A coalition has been formed and an online campaign has been launched to tell Kinder Morgan to keep its promise to British Columbians and build the Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline with unionized labour.

Business manager Mike Gallagher is encouraging Local 793 members to visit the web page set up by the B.C. Coalition for Safety Before Profits at www.safetybeforeprofits.ca and sign up to receive information on the issue.

“This is a very important issue for our Brother and Sisters in British Columbia, and those who work in the pipeline industry,” said Gallagher. “Pipelines built by experienced Canadian union workers will be safer than those built using unqualified or temporary foreign labour.”

At the website, you will find a link to a Facebook site, where stories will be showcased, and where you can like and share with friends, relatives and neighbours. The Coalition plans to add new stories as the campaign unfolds over time to build momentum. The Facebook site is at https://www.facebook.com/SafetyBeforeProfits/.

The Coalition was formed in response to a growing community of British Columbians who are concerned about Kinder Morgan’s level of commitment to safety.

Founding coalition members include the International Union of Operating Engineers, the Labourer’s International Union of North America, United Association Canada (Canadian Piping Trades), and Teamsters Canada.

Collectively, members of these unions have safely built the majority of pipelines in Canada.

However, in spite of efforts by the trades over many months to meet with Kinder Morgan, they have still not secured a commitment from the company to hire union trades for the pipeline. The trades are seeking a Project Labour Agreement for the pipeline project.

The question then is: Why would Kinder Morgan rely on anyone other than the most experienced workers to build its Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline?

The Coalition wants Kinder Morgan to hire the same union workers that built the original pipeline without incident.

It also wants people to join B.C.’s skilled, unionized workers in telling Kinder Morgan to keep its promise to B.C. and put safety before profits.

The campaign is built around the following key positions:

  • Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion project is a significant opportunity for British Columbians.
  • For B.C., that means ensuring all of the government’s five conditions are met and that B.C. gets a fair share of the economic benefits of the project.
  • For B.C.’s skilled trades workers and workforce of the future, that means not getting undercut by temporary foreign workers so Kinder Morgan can cut costs.
  • For Kinder Morgan, that means meeting B.C.’s five conditions and keeping its promise to put safety before profits.
  • If Kinder Morgan is willing to cut costs with unqualified cheap labour, then it is definitely putting profits before safety.

The Coalition notes that to grow and support the workforce of tomorrow, pipeline unions have invested $85 million in rigorous training to ensure well-paying middle class jobs for B.C. and for Canada.