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International Operating Engineer - Spring 2018

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The quarterly magazine of the International Union of Operating Engineers.

Canadian News Local 115

Canadian News Local 115 Promotes Community Building Standards AFTER 16 YEARS, British Columbia has a government that recognizes the benefits that unionized construction workers bring to construction projects. The previous government had rejected project labour agreements on major projects and had suffered significant cost overruns using a “low-bid” strategy on infrastructure projects as a result. Apprenticeship completion rates have fallen to new lows across the province as BC faces a looming shortage of skilled tradespeople. During the 2017 election campaign, NDP Leader John Horgan committed to using a “best-bid” strategy and committed to a modernized project labour agreement called a community benefit agreement. He explained that when the government builds projects “there should be something more” than just a completed structure. Since becoming the 34th Premier of BC, he has announced that the Hwy 1 expansion from Kamloops to the Alberta border and the Pattullo Bridge Replacement will be built using the new community benefit agreement. IUOE Local 115 is negotiating the terms of the agreement. In support of the use of Community Benefit Agreements, IUOE Local 115 in cooperation with the IUOE Canadian Regional Office and the other pipeline trades have initiated a new campaign supporting a new Community Building Standard. The Community Building Standard ensures that, through the use of Community Benefit Agreements, major projects are constructed using three core principles – a commitment to safety and quality, investment in trades training, and leaving a positive community legacy. A new website (www.buildingitright.ca) with supporting Facebook and Twitter accounts support and promote the campaign. Two people that stand to benefit from the renewed commitment to trades training are IUOE Local 115 member Donna Ive and IUOE Training Association student Sidney Dash. Donna was employed for 10 years at a waste company, operating a forklift and loader - she also helped to train others. When new owners took over the facility that she worked at after undercutting her employer’s bid for a contract renewal, she and 87 others were out of a job. The new owners slashed wages in half, cut benefits and got rid of the pension plan. “Garbage is definitely different than dirt,” she says, “I wanted to learn how to move dirt efficiently and operate other equipment.” Now in a course to upgrade her skills at IUOE Local 115’s Training Association, she looks forward to using her skills to build it right on major projects. 22 year old Sidney Dash grew up around heavy equipment. The daughter of a Heavy Duty Mechanic, Sidney loved riding on the haul truck at the annual IUOE Training Association [left] Local 115 member Donna Ive [above] IUOE Training Association student Sydney Dash [below, L to R] Assistant Business Manager Josh Towsley, President Wayne Mills, Business Representative Mike Mayo, Business Representative Tom Kinnear, B.C. Premier John Horgan, Treasurer Frank Carr, Business Manager Brian Cochrane [article & photos] IUOE Local 115 Open house. Sidney has worked low pay, low benefit jobs in the retail sector since high school. When an opportunity came to learn new skills at the IUOE Local 115 Training Association, she took it. “I definitely think these machines are extremely powerful and they create amazing things in the world.” She looks forward to a career in the IUOE that will provide her with a good wage and the ability to operate heavy equipment. “By promoting the Community Building Standard, IUOE Local 115 is leading the industry toward safer, more inclusive workplaces that give people like Donna and Sidney the opportunity to complete their apprenticeships on projects that create positive community legacies,” stated IUOE Local 115 Business Manager Brian Cochrane. 18 INTERNATIONAL OPERATING ENGINEER SPRING 2018 19

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