Category Archives: Press Release

Big Yes Vote at Baffinland

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. mine employees vote in favour of a first collective agreement negotiated by IUOE Local 793

BAFFIN ISLAND, NUNAVUT April 17, 2019 – What started as an organizing drive in May 2017 has culminated in the successful ratification of a first collective agreement with Baffinland Iron Mine Corp. to represent its production employees, that took effect May 1, 2019.

The International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 793 (“IUOE Local 793”) appreciates Baffinland’s decision to sit down and negotiate a fair and reasonable mutual gains partnership agreement.

With the goal of increasing Union membership, IUOE Local 793 had set as priorities – in their recently concluded Strategic Plan – to augment its organizing with mines and continue its efforts to establish representation rights in Nunavut.

The mine itself is located in Mary River in northwest Baffin Island in the territory of Nunavut. It is an open pit iron mine and is said to be the world’s sixth most northerly mine.

As of the date of closing of the ratification vote there were upward of 800 workers employed in various positions within the bargaining unit, including many ore haul truck drivers, heavy equipment operators, skilled trades, and other workers.

IUOE Local 793’s sister organization, the Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario (“OETIO”), has offered heavy equipment operator training to the Inuit communities of Nunavut since January 2005. IUOE Local 793 itself was granted a Charter to organize and represent employees in Nunavut on behalf of the International Union of Operating Engineers in 2014. 

On behalf of IUOE Local 793’s Executive Board, Mike Gallagher, business manager of IUOE Local 793 has said “We thank the employees of Baffinland for putting their trust in IUOE Local 793 and having the confidence to vote in favour of the tentative agreement. We are committed to providing them with the quality representation they deserve.” 

“Over the last six months, Baffinland and the Operating Engineers have worked closely based on employee feedback to build a partnership that emphasizes collaboration, fully respects our IIBA, and reflects Baffinland’s core value to engage and develop our employees,” said Brian Penney, President and CEO of Baffinland. “Baffinland will continue to explore partnerships that help our employees continue to be successful at Baffinland, and help our company become the lowest cost-producer of high grade iron ore in the world through the safe and efficient operation and ongoing development of the Mary River Mine.”

About the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 793
In 2019, IUOE Local 793 is celebrating its 100thanniversary. IUOE Local 793 represents more than 15,300 crane and heavy equipment operators and industrial and production workers in Ontario and Nunavut. Its members work in all sectors of the construction industry, for municipalities, and in industrial establishments. Local 793 members build the roads and bridges you travel on, the subways you ride in, and the offices you work in. Members also build pipelines, stadiums, refineries, subdivisions, and work in mechanics shops, landfills, quarries, and mines.

The International Union of Operating Engineers is dedicated to serving and protecting the needs and interests of its members and their families through the collective bargaining process, legislative action and extensive training and skills improvement programs. IUOE Local 793 has a head office and training campus in Oakville, Ontario, another training campus in Morrisburg, Ontario and district offices around the province of Ontario. 

For more information about IUOE Local 793, please visit our website at iuoeLocal793.org

Contact: 
IUOE Local 793 
Kathryn Peet, communications representative 
+1-905-469-9299 ext. 2219

Baffinland Iron Mine Corp.
Jason Leite, communications specialist
+1-416-529-2624

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Big Yes Vote at Baffinland

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. mine employees vote in favour of a first collective agreement negotiated by IUOE Local 793

BAFFIN ISLAND, NUNAVUT April 17, 2019 – What started as an organizing drive in May 2017 has culminated in the successful ratification of a first collective agreement with Baffinland Iron Mine Corp. to represent its production employees, that took effect May 1, 2019.

The International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 793 (“IUOE Local 793”) appreciates Baffinland’s decision to sit down and negotiate a fair and reasonable mutual gains partnership agreement.

With the goal of increasing Union membership, IUOE Local 793 had set as priorities – in their recently concluded Strategic Plan – to augment its organizing with mines and continue its efforts to establish representation rights in Nunavut.

The mine itself is located in Mary River in northwest Baffin Island in the territory of Nunavut. It is an open pit iron mine and is said to be the world’s sixth most northerly mine.

As of the date of closing of the ratification vote there were upward of 800 workers employed in various positions within the bargaining unit, including many ore haul truck drivers, heavy equipment operators, skilled trades, and other workers.

IUOE Local 793’s sister organization, the Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario (“OETIO”), has offered heavy equipment operator training to the Inuit communities of Nunavut since January 2005. IUOE Local 793 itself was granted a Charter to organize and represent employees in Nunavut on behalf of the International Union of Operating Engineers in 2014. 

On behalf of IUOE Local 793’s Executive Board, Mike Gallagher, business manager of IUOE Local 793 has said “We thank the employees of Baffinland for putting their trust in IUOE Local 793 and having the confidence to vote in favour of the tentative agreement. We are committed to providing them with the quality representation they deserve.” 

“Over the last six months, Baffinland and the Operating Engineers have worked closely based on employee feedback to build a partnership that emphasizes collaboration, fully respects our IIBA, and reflects Baffinland’s core value to engage and develop our employees,” said Brian Penney, President and CEO of Baffinland. “Baffinland will continue to explore partnerships that help our employees continue to be successful at Baffinland, and help our company become the lowest cost-producer of high grade iron ore in the world through the safe and efficient operation and ongoing development of the Mary River Mine.”

About the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 793
In 2019, IUOE Local 793 is celebrating its 100thanniversary. IUOE Local 793 represents more than 15,300 crane and heavy equipment operators and industrial and production workers in Ontario and Nunavut. Its members work in all sectors of the construction industry, for municipalities, and in industrial establishments. Local 793 members build the roads and bridges you travel on, the subways you ride in, and the offices you work in. Members also build pipelines, stadiums, refineries, subdivisions, and work in mechanics shops, landfills, quarries, and mines.

The International Union of Operating Engineers is dedicated to serving and protecting the needs and interests of its members and their families through the collective bargaining process, legislative action and extensive training and skills improvement programs. IUOE Local 793 has a head office and training campus in Oakville, Ontario, another training campus in Morrisburg, Ontario and district offices around the province of Ontario. 

For more information about IUOE Local 793, please visit our website at iuoeLocal793.org

Contact: 

IUOE Local 793
Kathryn Peet, communications representative 
+1-905-469-9299 ext. 2219

Baffinland Iron Mine Corp.
Jason Leite, communications specialist
+1-416-529-2624

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Ontario College of Trades logo

Ford government announces the winding down of the Ontario College of Trades

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.

Renewable Energy Alliance of Ontario (REAO)

Release – REAO: Ontario’s Low-Cost, Reliable Energy System Dependent on New Renewable Power

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:

  • The International Union of Operating Engineers
  • Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario
  • Laborers’ International Union of North America
  • Canadian Solar Industries Association
  • The Ontario Crane Rental Association
  • The Canadian Wind Energy Association
  • The Aboriginal Apprenticeship Board of Ontario
  • Rankin Construction
  • Pumpcrete
  • Surespan Wind Energy
  • David Suzuki Foundation
  • Fengate Capital Management
  • Ridge National

For additional information contact:
Communication Representatives
1-905-469-9299
Danny Celia, ext. 2116  |  Kathryn Peet, ext. 2219

Release – Responding to Cancelled Renewable Energy Projects

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

Local 793 Objects to Canada Signing TPP

The following press release was issued by Local 793 regarding the Trans Pacific Partnership

OAKVILLE — Mike Gallagher, business manager of Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, says the federal Liberals have made a mistake by signing the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

“By signing this deal, the Liberals are failing to protect construction workers in this country. There are provisions in this trade pact that can be exploited by foreign construction companies at the expense of Canadian workers and our economy.”

“This deal, in our opinion, could open the door to under-skilled and under-paid temporary foreign workers being allowed to enter Canada to work – something that is unacceptable to our union.”

Gallagher said the CPTPP does not have a Canada-first provision and there is nothing in the deal to prevent a construction project being built in Canada by a foreign company with foreign workers.

A side-letter to Article 12.4 of the CPTPP states that Canada shall grant temporary entry and a work permit of up to three years to intra-corporate transfers of executives or managers, management trainees on professional development, or specialists. Specialists are defined as a worker possessing specialized knowledge of a company’s products or services and their application in international markets, or an advanced level of expertise or knowledge of the company’s processes and procedures. There is no mention of hiring Canadians first, opening the door to foreign companies being allowed to bring in foreign “specialists” to work on a project. Worse, there would also be no restriction on how many specialists a foreign company could bring in.

The deal, signed March 8 by International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne and representatives of 10 other nations in Santiago, Chile, could also affect Canadian contractors because they might end up competing for projects against foreign companies that could bring in cheaper labour.

“We have plenty of skilled, trained workers here in Canada and are concerned that the government has gone ahead and signed this deal without closing those loopholes,” said Gallagher. “These issues have been raised but, unfortunately, they were not addressed in the deal.”

Gallagher noted that if large foreign construction firms come to Canada and take work from local contractors and workers it does nothing to benefit the Canadian economy or the pension, benefits and training programs of unions like Local 793, as the foreign firms and workers take the wages and profits back to their own country, something that is unacceptable to Canadian employers and workers – whether unionized or not.

Gallagher said the fact that the United States saw the light and exempted itself from the CPTPP should ring warning bells for the Canadian government. The U.S. officially withdrew from the pact on Jan. 23, 2017 because the administration was concerned it would be a job killer and undermine the U.S. economy.

Local 793 has always supported fair trade agreements that don’t undermine the Canadian workforce by bypassing labour, safety and training standards, and backs NAFTA because no unfair advantage accrues to U.S. contractors when it comes to licensing or substandard training, Gallagher said, but the CPTPP raises the prospect that Canadian workers will not fully benefit from the jobs that will be created by the $125 billion in infrastructure funding over 10 years that was announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when he paid a visit to the Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario during a campaign stop in August 2015.

Gallagher noted that the Ontario government and a number of influential groups, including Canada’s dairy farmers, the country’s largest private-sector union, and key sectors of the Canadian auto industry are also critical of the trade pact, saying it will cost jobs in Canada.

Unifor, which has more than 315,000 members across the country, is warning that the deal is a regressive agreement that will start a race to the bottom and once again hurt Canadian workers because Article 19 on labour rights is essentially unchanged and fails to make any meaninful advancements to ensure compliance and enforceability when labour rights are violated under the deal.

The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association, which represents companies that make most of the vehicles produced in this country, is also concerned that the deal fails to provide our large auto manufacturers with reciprocal access to markets of trading partners in the CPTPP.

The Dairy Farmers of Canada, which represents farmers on about 12,000 dairy farms, indicates the deal will give other countries in the CPTPP tariff-free access to Canada’s dairy market. The group estimates that the market access conceded in the deal will result in a 3.1-per-cent loss in milk production by Canada’s dairy farmers, or about $160 million per year.

The Council of Canadians, a social action organization, has called on government to scrap the deal because public objections to it were ignored and the pact will result in large job losses. A study called Trading Down, Unemployment, Inequity and Other Risks of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement done in January 2016 by Tufts University in Massachusetts found such a deal could cost Canada 58,000 jobs over a 10-year period.

Meanwhile, according to the Ontario government, the province’s farm sector could lose $500 million in revenue over the first five years of the deal and a drop in investment in the auto sector would result in an economy-wide reduction of $80 million in the annual gross domestic product as well as potential job losses. In a speech to the Toronto Region Board of Trade on Feb. 22, 2018, Premier Kathleen Wynne noted the province’s auto sector will need $1.26 billion in transitional assistance from the federal government over 10 years to adjust to the new realities created by the CPTPP and the agriculture and food sectors will need $1.4 billion over that period.

“Why did Premier Wynne not mention assistance for the construction industry, which employs more than 500,000 workers in Ontario?” asked Gallagher. “It would appear that both the federal and provincial governments are ignoring the impact that introduction of the CPTPP will have on construction workers. Why is that, when our industry is so important to the growth of the economy?”

Gallagher said the deal is out of step with the federal government’s budget objectives of advancing women and Indigenous peoples and addressing youth unemployment and underemployment because foreign workers will have a higher priority than the domestic workforce.

A report done in August 2016 for Canada’s Building Trades Unions noted that the deal makes it easier for temporary workers to enter Canada because employers will no longer need to prove that there is a shortage of domestic workers in a specified occupation in order to open the sector to foreign workers.

Gallagher noted that, in the past, there have been abuses of the system and the CPTPP will only make matters worse – not better.

On April 4, 2007, for example, two temporary foreign workers were killed when a storage tank roof collapsed on them at a Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) site near Fort McMurray, Alta. The workers were employed by the Canadian subsidiary of Chinese engineering firm Sinopec Shanghai Engineering Company (SSEC). CNRL was fined $10,000 and SSEC was ordered to pay $1.5 million in penalties.

In 2012, HD Mining International Ltd. was found to have brought in more than a dozen Chinese miners to develop a coal mine at the Murray River project near the town of Tumbler Ridge, B.C. The company had been granted temporary permits to bring in more than 200 miners. The workers were sent back after Local 115 of the International Union of Operating Engineers and Local 1611 of the Construction and Specialized Workers Union challenged the company in court.

In April 2013, meanwhile, it was revealed that the Royal Bank of Canada was planning to shift information technology work done by 45 Canadian employees to foreigners contracted by iGate, an outsourcing firm from India. Because of public backlash, the bank released a new code of conduct stipulating that RBC and its suppliers must not hire foreign workers to perform services for the bank when someone eligible to work in Canada is available and able to perform the service.

Without protecting Canadian workers under the CPTPP, Gallagher said the huge potential to employ First Nations peoples and construction workers to build railways, roads and infrastructure in the Ring of Fire area in northern Ontario could be lost to foreign companies and workers.

“Can the Liberal government give us a guarantee that we won’t have Canadian jobs ripped off by offshore contractors and foreign workers?”

Gallagher said Local 793 takes health and safety very seriously and the CPTPP also needs to clarify that unlicensed crane operators and operators of heavy equipment from foreign countries would not be able to circumvent licensing requirements in Ontario.

“Construction equipment is large and dangerous and members of the public and other construction workers could be in danger if foreign workers were permitted to work in Canada without so much as a demonstration of skills test to prove their competency. This must be avoided at all cost.”

Gallagher noted that on March 12 in Quebec’s Saguenay region, during the first stop on a cross-country tour of aluminum and steel factories, Prime Minister Trudeau said he and his team have the backs of workers in those industries.

“But does he have the backs of construction workers in the CPTPP deal? I would like to think so, but the prime minister needs to make that point clear right now, as he did for the workers in Quebec.”

Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers represents nearly 15,000 highly-skilled crane and heavy equipment operators across Ontario. The union has a head office, banquet hall and training campus in Oakville, and another training campus in Morrisburg. 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

Click here for text of the CPTPP

Changes to Bill 70 Supported by Local 793

Following is a press release issued by Local 793 regarding Bill 70.

CONSTRUCTION UNION APPLAUDS PROPOSED CHANGES TO BILL 70

OAKVILLE — Mike Gallagher, business manager of Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, says he fully supports amendments being proposed by the Ontario government to Schedule 17 of Bill 70.

“The government is recommending changes that will make Bill 70 better for all the trades and the public,” he said. “The changes will address concerns that had been raised by industry stakeholders and go a long way towards improving the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act.”

Gallagher and representatives of the union had met with Ontario Labour Minister Kevin Flynn and ministry staff to discuss the Bill, as well as language in the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act that will protect and promote the trades in Ontario.

The union is pleased that amendments being proposed require the Ontario Labour Relations Board to recognize and give consideration to the duty to protect the interests of the public and “objects” or core responsibilities of the College of Trades when reviewing decisions made by College inspectors.

“These changes are important because they will ensure that the original vision of the College of Trades is maintained,” said Gallagher. “Going forward, inspectors from the College of Trades will have the tools to maintain professional standards and ensure the public is adequately protected.”

Gallagher said Local 793 was in a good position to work with the government on this because the union represents operators in compulsory trades like tower and mobile cranes, as well as voluntary trades such as concrete pumps, excavator, dozer and tractor-loader-backhoe vocations.

“It was important to balance the interests of both certified and non-compulsory trades,” said Gallagher. “These proactive changes will go a long way towards making the Bill better for all trades.”

The amendments will be presented Dec. 6 to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.

Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers represents more than 14,500 highly skilled crane and heavy equipment operators across Ontario. The union has a head office, banquet hall and training campus in Oakville, and another training campus in Morrisburg.

For additional information contact:
Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher
905-469-9299, ext. 2202

IUOE GP Issues Statement on U.S. Election

The following statement was issued by IUOE General President James T. Callahan in response to the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president:

Last night, the Operating Engineers and organized labor sustained political losses throughout the country that will change the landscape for labor into the foreseeable future.

No one knows for certain what a Trump Administration will bring, but if he keeps his campaign promises, many of our sacred labor protections will be truly tested. Many union households voted against their economic futures, which is troubling at best. 

Now that the initial disappointment has been processed, it is time to do what every Operating Engineer in a leadership role has always done. We will stand strong, stand together, and continue to hold off attempts to erode away our collective bargaining rights. 

In the coming days, as we determine where these attacks will develop, rest assured that this administration, staff and the General Executive Board of our great organization is prepared to stand with you on the battlefield that lies before us, wherever our resources are needed.

God Bless you,
God Bless the Operating Engineers, and
God Bless America.

Operators Ratify Provincial Collective Agreement

Following is a press release issued by Local 793, regarding ratification of the Provincial Collective Agreement.

OPERATING ENGINEERS RATIFY NEW AGREEMENT WITH CONTRACTORS

OAKVILLE — Members of Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers have ratified a new three-year Provincial Collective Agreement with contractors.

Union members voted overwhelmingly in favour of the agreement at ratification meetings held across the province on June 9, 2016.

The agreement affects operators who work on cranes and heavy equipment at construction sites across the province and who are involved in activities such as steel erection and mechanical installations, foundation piling, caisson boring and excavation, general construction and surveying.

The agreement runs from May 1, 2016 to April 30, 2019. It provides for a total monetary package increase of $3.95 an hour over three years. Wages rise by $1.35 an hour retroactive to May 27, 2016, by another $1.30 an hour on May 1, 2017 and by another $1.30 an hour on May 1, 2018. The agreement also contains many language improvements and schedules for travel, room and board and meal expenses were also increased. No concessions were made by the union. The wage settlement is the highest of any of the trades so far in the ICI construction sector.

“We are pleased to have been able to work with our employers to reach a settlement,” said Local 793 Business Manager Mike Gallagher. “Given our strong overall work situation, this was the right deal. We were determined to get a fair deal and we are comfortable that that was achieved.”

Gallagher said a settlement was reached because the union and employers took a mature approach to the talks and were respectful of each other. He noted that Ken Williams Jr., president of Pumpcrete Corporation and president of the Crane Rental Association of Ontario (CRAO), stepped up after the death of Ray Goodfellow, former president of the CRAO, on behalf of employers.

In addition to the monetary package, the agreement contains language aimed at improving safety equipment provided to operators.

The agreement adds a new provision to ensure that employers will supply employees with fall protection equipment and safety vests. A new provision was also added that tower crane cabs are to have suitable cab seats, including but not limited to, padded seats, arm rests and back rests.

Meanwhile, the agreement contains a new provision that allows regular employees that do crane and equipment rental work and who have been on the employer’s payroll for six consecutive months or more to be reimbursed for Ontario College of Trades annual membership fees and also for obtaining an applicable medical report for AZ licence requirements.

Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers represents more than 14,000 highly-skilled crane and heavy equipment operators across Ontario. The union has a head office, banquet hall and training campus in Oakville, and another training campus in Morrisburg.

For additional information contact:
Local 793 Business Manager Mike Gallagher
905-469-9299, ext. 2202