Category Archives: Latest Industry News

Grand Marshal Gallagher leads St. Patrick’s Day parade

Local 793 was well-represented at the 32nd annual Toronto St. Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday, March 10.

Business manager and parade Grand Marshal, Mike Gallagher, lead an entourage of around 450 members, staff and their families along the streets of Toronto wearing special 100th Anniversary St. Patrick’s Day jackets.

James T. Callahan, general president of the International Union of Operating Engineers, marched alongside Grand Marshal Gallagher. 

Local 793 president Joe Redshaw, Local 793 vice president and government affairs representative Joe Dowdall and chair of the St. Patrick’s Parade Society of Toronto Shaun Ruddy also marched side-by-side with Mike.

Watch the video below shot and edited by IT manager Armand Dowdall.

Business Manager Gallagher honoured at Grand Marshal Ball

Celebrations for the St. Patrick’s Day parade kicked off on Friday, March 8, when the St. Patrick’s Parade Society held its Grand Marshal Ball at Steam Whistle Brewery in Toronto.

The evening was in honour of the 2019 Grand Marshal – Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher.

The event attracted dignitary figures, labour and business leaders, and some of the most prominent members of Toronto’s Irish community.

The night featured a performance by Irish music icon Mundy and traditional Irish dancers.

Change of address?

2018 income tax time is fast approaching! To be certain that receipts are mailed to the proper address, please ensure that any address changes you may have are updated in our system.

Members can either update their address online or can contact their nearest union office or 793 head office to update their address.

Please Note: Due to privacy, we can only accept address changes from members.

Although members will be able to download their 2018 tax receipts online, they are automatically sent out to members’ home addresses as well.

Committee to Draft Brief on Green Energy Project Benefits

A committee of employer and union representatives has been formed to put together a brief on the number of jobs and benefits that wind, solar and biomass projects bring to Ontario.

The committee will hire a consultant to prepare the brief. It will be presented to the provincial government during upcoming consultations on Ontario’s new Long-Term Energy Plan.

Mike Gallagher, business manager of Local 793, is on the industry committee. Others on the committee include: IUOE business rep Andre Chenier; Tom Rankin, CEO of Rankin Construction; Ken Williams Jr., president of Pumpcrete and also the Crane Rental Association of Ontario; Jason Dashney of Surespan Wind Energy Service; Bill Barbosa of LIUNA Local 183; and Brandy Giannetta of the Canadian Wind Energy Association.

The decision to form the committee was made at a meeting held Oct. 13 at Local 793’s head office in Oakville.

The meeting was arranged by business manager Gallagher to discuss the industry’s response to government plans to scrap $3.8 billion in future wind, solar and biomass projects across the province. The projects are under the Large Renewable Procurement 2, or LRP2 program.

More than two dozen representatives of employers and unions attended the meeting, along with Sara Monture, a representative of the Aboriginal Apprenticeship Board of Ontario.

Business Manager Gallagher said the industry was caught off guard by the government’s announcement and cancellation of the green energy projects is a concern to both employers and unions because of the investment in equipment and training for the work.

He provided a synopsis of a 45-minute meeting he and other Local 793 representatives had with Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault at the union’s district office in Sudbury on Oct. 11.

At the meeting, Gallagher noted that Local 793 and signatory contractors who may have purchased equipment in anticipation of the work are concerned about the decision to cut the green energy projects and the fact they were not consulted in advance of the announcement.

Minister Thibeault apologized for missing the union in the consultation. He said that LRP2 has been suspended but projects under an earlier program, known as LRP1, will still go forward, and that Feed-in Tariff and microFeed-in Tariff projects won’t be affected.

The minister indicated there are still four years of building left for contracts that have been signed and he noted that all projects that have a signed contract will continue as planned.

Thibeault said the Long-Term Energy Plan which will be completed in 2017 will outline future needs.

Interestingly, the minister said that, contrary to what’s been widely reported in the media, Ontario is not losing money when it sells its electricity to the U.S., Manitoba and Quebec. In fact, Thibeault said the government is $230 million in the black each year on those sales.

In the meeting, the minister explained that Ontario must produce more electricity than it uses because standards set by the North American Electricity Reliability Council require that Ontario has to maintain between eight and 15 per cent in excess power. This was set to avoid another blackout such as occurred in August 2003 in Ontario and the eastern U.S.

While wind, solar and biomass projects are presently, and by far, the cheapest way of producing energy today, the minister noted that Ontario is at a “tipping point” in finding power storage solutions for renewable energy generation.

At the meeting at Local 793’s head office, Gallagher said it’s good that the government is still going ahead with LRP1 projects but the decision to postpone LRP2 projects is bad news and the message about the importance of renewable energy is not getting through.

Tom Rankin of Rankin Construction had the same message and noted, for example, that 18 studies have been done worldwide that show there are no ill health effects from wind turbines.

Rankin noted the government is not sending a good message by cancelling the green energy projects.

Shane McCarthy of Surespan Wind Energy Service said the public is forming opinions on wrong information and does not understand the importance of projects like wind turbines.

He said there are no figures on items such as how much taxes from wind turbines go to municipalities to show taxpayers how the green energy industry is contributing to growth.

Gallagher suggested that a committee be formed to put together a brief for the upcoming Long-Term Energy Plan consultations. The suggestion was accepted by those at the meeting.

“We’ve got some work to do on the attitude of the general public and, quite frankly, the government,” he said.

Other representatives at the meeting included:

  • Frank Newman of Pumpcrete
  • Ian Smythe of Northern Mat and Bridge
  • Peter Lulecmis of Northern Mat and Bridge
  • Lee Spalding of Liebherr Canada
  • Bill Finkle of Cropac Equipment
  • Jeremy Asher of Mammoet
  • Jenifer Fitzpatrick of Mammoet
  • John Maclellan of Rankin Construction
  • Shawn Tyler of Rankin Construction
  • Jason Hanna of All Canada Crane
  • Aaron Hanna of All Canada Crane
  • Jeffrey Atkins of BIK Hydraulics
  • Brad Thomson of Thomkess Crane
  • Alex Law, assistant business manager at IUOE Local 793
  • Joe Redshaw, president at IUOE Local 793
  • Bob Turpin, northeastern Ontario area supervisor at IUOE Local 793
  • Ken Lew, labour relations manager at IUOE Local 793
  • Grant Cameron, director of communications at IUOE Local 793
  • Larry Richard, EPSCA business rep at IUOE Local 793

Direct Deposit for Claims Payments

Local 793 Business Manager Mike Gallagher is pleased to announce that Global Benefits has implemented an electronic claims payment reimbursement system for all health claims.

Effective July 14, 2016, members may choose to have reimbursement of their claims deposited directly into their bank accounts.

Click here to download the notice and payment authorization sign-up form.

Once you’ve downloaded the form and filled it in, mail the form and void cheque to: Global Benefits Claims Department, 88 St. Regis Crescent South, Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1Y8.

In the event of suspension of mail service:

  • Members can take their forms to the Global Benefits office at 88 St. Regis Crescent South, Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1Y8.
  • Members can take their forms to head office in Oakville and any of the 14 district offices across the province. The forms will be forwarded to Global Benefits.
  • Members can fax their forms directly to Global Benefits at 416-635-6464. The fax will be checked every morning by staff at Global Benefits.

Following is a list of the Local 793 offices and locations:

Barrie – 240 Bayview Drive, Unit 12
Belleville – 1 Millennium Parkway, Suite 102
Cambridge – 100 Sheldon Drive, Unit 10
Hamilton – 35 Goderich Road, Unit 5
London – 523 First Street, Suite 2
Oshawa – 1255 Terwillegar Ave., Unit 7
Ottawa – 174 Colonnade Road South, Unit 2
Sarnia – 1390A Lougar Avenue
Sault Ste. Marie – 432 Great Northern Road, Suite 203
St. Catharines – 188 Bunting Road, Unit 5
Sudbury – 430 Westmount Avenue, Unit H
Thunder Bay – 107 Johnson Avenue
Timmins – 54 Waterloo Road, Unit 2
Toronto – 2245 Speers Road, Oakville
Windsor – 3383 Walker Road

OETIO Receives Funds for New Equipment

Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher was quoted in the following article that appeared recently in Daily Commercial News.

With an aging workforce and infrastructure spending ramping up, the need to teach specialty skills such as crane and heavy equipment operation in Ontario has gone past talk and into crunch time.

Mike Gallagher, Oakville, Ont. business manager of Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), addressed the gravity of the situation recently as he welcomed funding for seven new pieces of heavy equipment worth close to $1.3 million for the Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario (OETIO) campuses in Morrisburg and Oakville.

The OETIO trains crane operators as well as heavy equipment operators who run dozers, backhoes and excavators but Gallagher said they are barely keeping up with demand.

There are currently 320 crane and tower apprentices training at the Oakville centre but research shows OETIO and the colleges who also train heavy equipment operators are in a race against time as the huge boomer generation reaches retirement age.

The average age of a journeyman mobile crane operator according to Ontario statistics compiled in 2012 was 50; even more pressing, the average tower crane operator was 58.

“We carefully monitor that,” said Gallagher. “We allow retirees to work for a certain amount of time after they retire but you can only keep working for so long at this trade, it is a physically demanding trade.”

“So the opportunity is there for young people considering a career.”

Click here to read full article

Business Manager Quoted in Huffington Post

Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher was quoted in an article that was written by Catherine Levesque and posted on the Huffington Post Quebec website. The original article was in French, and it has been translated into English. The article is posted below.

Mike Gallagher, Director of Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, does not appreciate accusations of fraud from the Conservatives towards his union.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau travelled to Oakville, Ontario, last August 27 to make an announcement on its infrastructure investments before some 300 people. But nobody was paid to do so, argues Mike Gallagher, himself a Liberal supporter.

“We had workers and members of the community on-site. Everyone was there voluntarily,” he said. “Never would I have thought to pay for their presence.”

The Official Opposition has attacked the Trudeau Government since the beginning of the week to see if the Liberals have received other illegal donations from trade union organizations during the election campaign.

MP for Louis-Saint-Laurent, Gérard Deltell, said that there were two other events organized by the big bosses of the unions during the election campaign, including that of Mike Gallagher.

During question period, he asked the Prime Minister if there was illegal financing at the rallies in Oakville as well as Vaughan, October 8.

“The Liberal Party has always obeyed and protected the laws of Elections Canada in their application and we are proud of our record on it. Attacks by members of the Conservative Party are really appalling,” said Trudeau.

Deltell unveiled Monday that the Liberals had sought the help of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Industry of the Plumbing and Piping of the United States and Canada for an election announcement in Waterloo, Ontario.

23 union members were paid $100 each for their presence, thereby contravening the Electoral Act. A spokesperson for the Party responded by e-mail that these payments were made without the knowledge of the Liberal Party of Canada.

At rallies in Oakville and Vaughan, there was nothing to report on. “No, we are not aware of any payment in connection with these events,” said Christina Topp.

Mike Gallagher thinks that it is distressing to see the Conservative Party attempt to stain the reputation of the unions, while they have “never bothered to check the facts.

“They seem to want to demonize people. Instead of dragging us through the mud, why don’t they come and meet us?”

Workers all wore red hardhats during the visit of Justin Trudeau. The Liberal slogan also hung at the end of a crane while he spoke to the crowd.

But Mike Gallagher is of the opinion that the reception would have been the same no matter what party leader came to see them in their region.

“We did nothing wrong. I don’t like unfounded accusations like that,” he concludes.

Upcoming Proposal Meetings

Meetings have been scheduled to take proposals for the following upcoming negotiations:

Toronto Sewer and Watermain Collective Agreement
Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016
10 a.m.
OE Banquet Hall
2245 Speers Road, Oakville

Toronto and Area Roadbuilders Collective Agreement
Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016
11:30 a.m.
OE Banquet Hall
2245 Speers Road, Oakville

Ontario Concrete and Drain Collective Agreement
Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016
10 a.m.
Multi-Purpose Room
Local 793 Head Office
2245 Speers Road, Oakville

Greater Toronto Area Residential Lowrise Collective Agreement
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
7 p.m.
Multi-Purpose Room
Local 793 Head Office
2245 Speers Road, Oakville

Ontario Formwork Collective Agreement
Sunday, March 20, 2016
11 a.m.
OE Banquet Hall
2245 Speers Road, Oakville

Members working under these agreements will also receive a notice by mail.

Additional information concerning upcoming negotiations will be added as it becomes available.

Drill Rig Course to be Launched at OETIO in January

As of July 1, 2016, operators will need mobile crane hoisting credentials and 40 hours of specific training that has been approved by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities if they want to operate a foundation rotary drill rig in Ontario.

Employers will have to ensure that a worker who operates a rotary foundation drill rig is qualified and has completed or is participating in a training program.

Operators will also have to have written proof of training available at the project for Ministry of Labour inspectors.

The new regulations are part of an amendment to O. Reg. 213/91 (Construction Projects) made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

To ensure operators can get the training they need, Local 793 is launching a new foundation drill rig operator-training program at the OETIO campus in Oakville.

A Liebherr LB28 drill rig will be used to deliver the first course being offered on January 25th, 2016. The course will consist of 40 hours of classroom training, along with hands-on training and simulation.

OETIO crane-drill rig Instructor Ray Doyle will deliver the program to eight members who have been approved for the course. There is no charge to take the course, as long as members are in good standing and meet the prerequisites and criteria to complete the training.

Operators can register in one of three drill rig program streams. The stream that the operator goes into depends on the type of mobile crane licence the operator possesses. Modular training forms must be filled out by the operator and employer as to which program stream the operator is to be registered in.

Click here for information about the three program streams and the required prerequisites.

For information on the course, call either:

  • OETIO Director of Training and Apprenticeship Joe Dowdall at 905-469-9299, ext. 2328
  • OETIO Assistant Director of Training and Apprenticeship Brian Alexander at 905-469-9299, ext. 2327