Local 1598 held it’s second quarterly meeting of 2019 on May 13, at which long-service awards were given to members whose years of continuous membership have reached significant milestones.
BCRCC members and representatives attended Day of Mourning ceremonies at varies locations throughout the province. These public memorials provide an opportunity to honour coworkers who lost their lives to workplace injury or disease and to renew our commitment to establish healthy and safe jobsites.
In 2018 there were 131 work-related deaths in B.C.: More than two work-related death claims were accepted by Worksafe BC each week. Construction remains one of the most dangerous industries with 34 work-related deaths last year.
Here are photos from ceremonies at the Vancouver International Airport, the Workers’ Memorial Stature in Prince George, and at the Jack Poole Plaza in Vancouver.
In Vancouver, Harry Baines, Minister of Labour, addressed those in attendance with regards to confirming the NDP government’s commitment to make BC workplaces the safest in the country. Alec Dan provided the territory greeting from the Musqueam First Nation Band. Sadaf Abdul talked about how when she was just 14 years old when her father was fatally injured in 2010. The scaffolding he was working on started rolling, got caught on something on the floor, and tilted. Her father fell 40 feet, suffering a fatal head injury. Sadaf urged everyone to ask if the job they are going to do is safe, saying, “Don’t hesitate to say no if you don’t feel comfortable doing the job. Your life is so important, more important than the job that needs to get done. You are irreplaceable.”
Here is a fantastic article about Local 527 member Richard Dickenson’s Integrated Carpentry Tutorials IP (Red Seal) exam refresher course, which is 100% reimbursable for members that pass the IP exam. The article outlines his approach for how he gets people ready, including having the ITA application paperwork done before the course itself starts. Students that take Richard’s course have over a 90% success rate with the exam.
BCRCC and Yukon members, use this link to register for the Canadian Traveller Referral Program:
Registering for this program will put you on a list to work on major industrial projects across the country.
There are two requirements to register: 1. You must be a member in good standing. 2.You cannot presently be working for one of our signatory contractors.
After years of anticipation, LNG Canada has announced the go-ahead for the $40-billion LNG facility in Kitimat. It will be the biggest industrial project in BC’s history. As such, the BCRCC is excited about the announcement and the forthcoming opportunities for our members and our contractors.
In April of this year, LNG Canada selected the engineering joint venture of Fluor Corp, of Houston, Texas, and JGC Corp, based in Yokohama, Japan, as the prime contractor for the project. The joint venture won the contract for the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC).
LNG Canada estimates that it will cost up to $40 billion to construct the terminal and complete the various infrastructures, including the $4.7-billion Coastal Gaslink pipeline from northeastern BC to Kitimat. The project will employ thousands of construction workers and take roughly five years to complete.
Here are some external links on the topic:
CBC – $40-Billion LNG Project in Northern BC Gets Go-ahead
CTV News – LNG Canada Project in B.C. Gets Shareholders’ OK
We hosted the 2018 National Apprenticeship Contest in Richmond, BC, on Saturday, August 18. The top apprentices from across Canada represented their respective provinces and competed to be recognized as the best in the country in each of the following trades: carpentry, scaffolding, drywall, and floor covering. Two of the Contest winners were BCRCC members! Local 1598’s Tyson Munro won in carpentry (marking back-to-back wins for BC in carpentry). And Local 1541’s Quinton Leeson won in floor covering. Excellent work! Here are some contest photos.
On July 16, 2018, Premier Horgan and the provincial government released an official announcement making Community Benefits Agreements (or CBAs) the model for large, publicly-funded infrastructure projects in British Columbia. CBA projects aim to benefit the communities around those projects by hiring locally (especially Indigenous peoples and women), maximizing apprenticeship opportunities, coordinating access to existing training programs to create skilled workers, and ensuring that workers doing the same job at the same level get the same wage.
Here’s a link to the announcement.
In March of 2016, the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation (SSN) hosted a two-week Introduction to Scaffold Training Program in Kamloops for the SSN community, in partnership with the BCRCC and Industrial Scaffold Safety Services L.P. (ISSL). The training was a part of SSN’s Pathways to Success Program (P2S) and was designed to equip participants with basic skills, knowledge, and safety awareness in preparation for upcoming employment and career opportunities with ISSL in the region.
Local 1370 member Versal Camille was a participant in P2S, and in June 2018 he concluded the 3rd and final level of the BCRCC Scaffold Apprenticeship Training Program. “Before P2S, I was working as a ranch hand and as a labourer in residential and industrial construction. I was wanting to get into an apprenticeship and become a tradesperson. When Jordann Hazelwood [SSN Career Coach] called me about the opportunity to be in the training program, I jumped at the chance.”
“It has been incredible to be a part of Versal’s journey and watch him see an opportunity and take full advantage of it,” said Hazelwood. “He has worked incredibly hard both in the field and during his training at the trades school and has represented our community in a positive way. It is my hope that we can continue to support our members in realizing their full potential and capitalizing on every opportunity presented to them.”
Camille is working steadily for ISSL, mostly in the Kamloops region, but does travel to various other projects around the province. Once he acquires a few more work hours, Camille will have completed the BCRCC Scaffold Apprenticeship Training Program and will be a journeyperson scaffolder, something he is very much looking forward to.
Neil Dougherty, director of operations, ISSL, Kamloops, traces Camille’s employment with ISSL, “Versal started working for ISSL as a material handler on the Domtar shutdown right after he finished the P2S program in 2016. He was a great worker, showing lots of potential, and was eager to learn. ISSL was looking for good apprentices in the region, and Versal was an ideal and obvious choice. Today, he is an important member of our Kamloops team.”
“The training has made me more competent, and I feel confident when I go back into the field,” said Camille. “I want to keep on scaffolding and become a journeyperson. It’s a personal accomplishment that I will feel great about, that I can say ‘I’m a journeyperson.’ Scaffolding is a great career, and ISSL is a good company to work for, and they’re keeping me busy. The guys on the crew have been giving me answers to my questions and providing mentorship. Being in the Union has been like being a part of a family. I know that I have a pension and that I can enjoy my future.
“I’m very grateful to have been a part of P2S. It changed my life in a way I couldn’t have imagined. It changed my life path for the better.”
The 2018 Provincial Carpentry Apprenticeship Contest was held on Saturday, June 16, at Campbell Construction’s Yard. The competition was a chance for members at the end of their apprenticeship training to show off some of their skills. The competitors were Joshua Bigham, Travis Buttman, Tyson Munro, Adam Patten, Nathan Seebaran, and Daniel Townsend. The field was very competitive, as these members are some of the best carpenters in the trade. Travis placed third, and Adam placed second. Tyson placed first and will go on to represent British Columbia at the National Apprenticeship Competition in August, which the BCRCC is hosting in Richmond, BC. A huge thanks goes out to the competitors, to the volunteers, and to everyone who came out to show their support!
Saturday June 9, 2018, at the Scandinavian Community Centre, 6540 Thomas Street, Burnaby. Local 1907 members accompanied by family and friend enjoyed a day of fun and – believe it or not, sun! – for the first time in a number of years. Thanks to all for participating and volunteering their time to help make the annual event an ongoing success. See you there next year!