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International Operating Engineer - Winter 2019

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The quarterly magazine of the International Union of Operating Engineers

Member Spotlight Stephen

Member Spotlight Stephen wanted to become an Operating Engineer, so he took a skills assessment at the Operating Engineers Local 3 Journeyman and Apprentice Training Center (OE3 JATC) in Sloughhouse, Calif. At first, he was confident, as he had been an all-star in Job Corps, but after spinning the tires on a scraper, his anxiety took over, and he choked on the rest of the tests. He broke down crying on the way home, thinking he had just blown his chance. Fortunately, it wasn’t over, and he was asked to return and participate in fiveweeks of training. “This chance has given me everything and more than I could imagine,” he said. His instructors at the OE3 JATC mentored him, reminding him that he was going to be something someday. At the end of the five weeks, he passed all of his tests with the highest scores in his class. Within two days, he got his first dispatch to a large project. He was doing a great job and learning fast, but his housing situation was still uncertain. For two weeks, he slept in his truck at the jobsite. When the crew he was working with learned of it, they purchased a trailer for him. “I still have a tight relationship with them all!” he said. Before finishing the Apprenticeship Program, Stephen worked as a foreman, met his wife, bought his first house and even purchased a home for his mom. Today, the hard times of his childhood are behind him and he’s become a highly sought-after operator. “I have my wife and my two dogs, and they are my world!” he said. “I’m able to provide for them and it’s the best feeling!... I love the life I’ve been given and I owe a lot to the Apprenticeship Program!” [story] John O. Matos, Local 3 [photo] Salvador Cid III, Local 3 EnginEErs Action rEsponsE nEtwork Because elections matter IUOE LOCAL 115 is gearing up for an exceptionally busy year in British Columbia, with major public and private projects ongoing or ready to launch. “For most of this decade, we fought to hold our own in an anti-union climate,” said Local 115 Business Manager Brian Cochrane. “But the tide has turned in BC. We’re getting opportunities to take on new work, and that’s pushing us to build our capacity for organizing, member recruitment and training,” Local 115 members have been active on BC Hydro’s B Site C dam project since summer 2018. The number of IUOE positions is forecast to reach 150 this spring, with additional jobs if new subcontractor agreements fall into place. In total, more than 3,000 people are at work on Site C. “The pool of experienced local labour is small in the northeast, with so many people committed to the oil and gas industry,” said Local 115 Business Representative Brian Lefebvre. “We’re bringing in members from around the province to fill that gap.” confident our members will play a key role in the success of these projects.” On BC’s highways and bridges, the Operating Engineers and sister building trades will get their first opportunity in Canadian News New Year of Opportunity Across British Columbia 2019 to implement a new Community Benefits Agreement with the provincial government. Building on BC’s historic Project Labour Agreement model, the new Agreement puts increased emphasis on apprenticeship and on trades opportunities for Indigenous people and women. “The replacement of the Pattullo Bridge in Metro Vancouver will demand the best from all the trades in the Operating Engineers – crane and heavy equipment operators, mechanics, welders and more,” said Business Manager Brian Cochrane. “We’re looking forward to proving that the union model on public projects is safer, more cost-effective, and better for communities.” “The other big highway project that’s coming up is the expansion of Highway 1 across the eastern half of BC. It falls under the same Community Benefit Agreement, with jobs and training for folks in small Interior towns. We’re encouraging the Government to get this one rolling as soon as possible.” To the west, Royal Dutch Shell and partners are ready to start construction on a B liquefied natural gas project, combining an LNG terminal on the Pacific coast with a 675-kilometer supply pipeline. This represents the largest private-sector investment in B.C. history, with more than 5,000 people to be employed at the main site. Make your voice heard • Register for EARN today www.iuoe.org “The expansion of the liquefied natural gas industry is a huge opportunity for tradespeople in BC,” said Local 115 President Wayne Mills. “IUOE signatory employers have already been awarded significant portions of the work and we’re 18 INTERNATIONAL OPERATING ENGINEER WINTER 2019 19

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