Boilermakers Lodge 146 Request For Support

Please consider supporting our Sister and Brother members at Lodge 146 who have been locked out by CESSCO . They are fighting for fair wages, good pensions and protection of their seniority rights.

Please click here to view the request letter from Lodge 146 Business Manager Hugh MacDonald.

Please click here to view/download the Lodge 146 contribution form.

Fraternally,

Jordan Streng
Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer
Boilermakers Lodge 359

An Important Message From The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (Canada)

On June 24th people across the world will be having a conversation with their governments regarding recovery and resiliency. As we Canadians come to grips with the urgency of restoring our economy, while at the same time continuing to fight global warming, there is a solution that addresses both economy and environment using a proven technology: carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS).

We are asking Boilermakers to contact their Member of Parliament and Federal cabinet ministers, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources, on June 24th by email.

To learn more about CCUS log into Members Only and view the June 23rd announcement.  Topics include: Canada’s investment in CCUS, High Wage Carbon Capture Jobs, Boilermaker Work and how we can support a bridge to a cleaner energy future.

The tools to assist Boilermakers with their email are also provided.

Show your support on June 24th!

IBB Canada

Health & Welfare Coverage Update

Please click here to view the notice from the Health & Welfare Trustees.

Site C Hydro Clean Energy Project Update

The Site C Hydro Dam Project has started to recall employees back to work with regards to the penstock and power house areas. Groupe LAR has sent in a recall order (includes days and nights) for members to start on June 8, 2020 for a work schedule of 21 days followed by a layoff and a recall to start 21 days later. A second work schedule will start on June 29, 2020 for a work schedule of 21 days followed by a layoff and a recall. This schedule is of course subject to change as flights become available to and from Fort St. John and is in response to the COVID-19 development plans to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus at the workplace.

To safely return to work, the employer must develop a plan to maintain physical distancing at the workplace with the first consideration being how many workers need to be on site for each scope of work. Workers should expect the right to a safe and healthy workplace, known hazards in their workplace and the right to refuse unsafe work without repercussion.

Members should expect changes to their workplace during this process. This may include new signage about hand washing expectations along with protocols to be put into place for cleaning and disinfecting.

You can visit WorkSafeBC’s COVID-19 health and safety: Cleaning and disinfecting for information that should address most workplace cleaning concerns.

Site C Construction Schedule: May 30 – June 12, 2020

COVID-19 update

The below link is a Site C video that was just released by the Building Trades in co-operation with BC Hydro:

Watch: Site C dam construction, May 2020

A Message From Canadian IVP Arnie Stadnick

Please click here to view message.

Notice of Lodge Office Re-opening

Our General Offices will re-open to the public and resume our regular office hours on Monday May 25, 2020. We have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place when you enter the building, so please follow the signage and the direction of the office staff as you enter. We have posted the basic rules below for your information, and ask that all transactions are by electronic payment if possible.

If you are able to use MemberLink for payments, please do so in order to limit contact with our office staff.

If you wish to see a particular Business Rep, please call ahead and arrange a time with them directly before coming in.

The Training Center is not yet open but we are expecting it be open soon.

Please click here to view the temporary COVID-19 Boilermaker Lodge 359 office rules.

Thank you from all the Staff.

May 2020 Newsletter

Update: Regarding the dissolution of the BCA of BC

The Union is actively involved with the Unfair Labour Practice filed with the BC Labour Relations Board. We have been in mediation at the LRB and are in continuing discussions with all parties involved. We ask for your patience, as we are losing ours quickly, but understand that our goal is to get a resolution to this mess soon, either by mutual agreement or otherwise.

Monthly Union Meetings

The April and May meetings were cancelled with permission from International Headquarters. We will continue to assess our ability to hold a meeting in June as we approach that date. We may have to limit the number of members that can attend in order to enforce the social distance guidelines in place at that time, and will most likely ask that no guests or retires attend this meeting. This will be done to ensure active members have a chance to fill the seats until such time as we can make room for everyone again. We will keep you up to date on this through the nightly job line as we approach June’s meeting date.

COVID-19 and Office Staff

The office continues to rotate staff between working from home, working in the office, and taking vacation time.  We are pursuing the CERB program benefits announced by the Federal Government and are applying for all benefits where we meet the requirements. The Boilermaker Reps/Dispatcher have been on a 20% wage reduction and a 50% reduction in vehicle allowances since April 6th, and will continue that reduction until such time as we get more members back to work. There are still no walk-ins permitted in the office until the Provincial Health Authorities give more direction on opening up to the public, but we are aiming for a reopening of the general office on Monday May 25th. Once we re-open the General Office to the public we will still maintain a social distancing environment inside the offices for the foreseeable future, so please follow the instructions when entering. The Training Center will also be assessed for use at that time.

2020 Golf Tournament and BBQ

It is unfortunate that we had to make the decision to cancel both the 2020 Golf Tournament and the summer BBQ. It remains unclear what type of events will be allowed by the health authorities as we get closer to the summer and we could not commit to all the venues, catering, etc., without a clear path forward.

We look forward to next year’s events, which will be taking place during Lodge 359’s 75th anniversary year, and we will make the 2021 events a time to remember.

Dispatcher’s Report

It has been a rough start to 2020 and I hope all 359 members and their families are safe and healthy.  I would like to give a big thanks to all the members that worked on the Parkland Job for CIMS and Melloy.  That shutdown came with many challenges and our membership rose to the occasion and did a bang up job, hats off to you Brothers and Sisters.

With the COVID-19 Pandemic most work came to an immediate halt.  Site C and Prince Rupert have both been put on hold and all the scheduled spring shutdowns were postponed.  We are hopeful that very soon we can get crews back in Prince Rupert and Site C.  We have been working very hard with our Contractors and Clients to find a way forward to perform the annual shutdowns, and re- start the long term jobs while ensuring member safety as the highest priority.

During the past 6 weeks we have been dispatching emergencies and some small scale jobs. As we move forward on these jobs there will be many new challenges that we will encounter in regards to new WorkSafe BC regulations and COVID-19. The Government regulations that have been put in place are to protect all workers.  At the point of dispatch members will be asked a series of questions relating to COVID-19.  These same questions will also be asked at every toolbox meeting.  We do ask when members accept a job that any concerns they may have be brought forward through the proper chain of command and be patient and understand that this COVID-19 is unchartered territory.

JRD Program

On Monday, March 23rd 2020 Energy Safety Canada temporarily closed to the public as a precautionary measure to protect the students and staff. For Confined Space and Fall arrest courses, any Certificate of Completion previously issued by Energy Safety Canada or the Oil Sands Safety Association (OSSA), that has an expiry date between January 1, 2020 and September 1, 2020 will be deemed by Energy Safety Canada to have not expired and will remain valid up to and including September 1, 2020.

Here are a few housekeeping items I would like to remind the members of:

  1. Update your Beneficiary card with both the Union, and the Pension and H&W Plan at BG Benefits.
  2. Make sure we have your correct phone number, email and mailing address on file.
  3. Transfer your pressure welding tickets to a Class A License with Technical Safety, and you can find more info on this in the article below.
  4. Send in any welding or safety tickets / certifications that you have so we can update your file and keep a copy on record in case you lose your ticket.

Lower Mainland Tank Work

Horton continues to work on the 6 RAM project tanks in Richmond to supply jet fuel to the airport, and has now started work on two other tanks in the Lower Mainland at North Vancouver, and these are expected to last until the fall. There are 2 more tanks at YVR that are anticipated to start in the fall. We are awaiting more announcements on the TMX tank project on Burnaby Mountain which involves the construction of up to 14 large diameter tanks.

Site C Dam- There has been no recall to the Site C dam project as of yet. Keep in touch with Dave French and the Dispatcher at the office on when this may happen.

Pembina Spheres- We are working with Horton on a plan to go back to work at the Pembina Propane Storage spheres in Prince Rupert. There have been some recalls back to Prince Rupert and we hope all can return to this project in the next few weeks.

Working During COVID-19

We are beginning to receive recall orders, and some new orders for other work. Due to COVID-19 there may be some challenges regarding indocs, transportation, etc. The Union is working with the contractors on some of these things and there may be some changes to the collective agreements that must be made to ensure we can get people back to work and maintain the requirements of the Provincial Health Authorities. If this is the case the dispatcher will be informing you of any changes before you accept the job.

It is the Employers responsibility to have a plan in place to work under the health authority guidelines, and we will continue posting more information on this and the WorkSafe guidelines in our news section of the website here:  https://www.boilermakers359.org/archives/

WCB Guideline for COVID-19

Please click here to view the guide.

Apprenticeship and Trade Advancement/New Welding Certificate Designations

  • A level 02 class was held at BCIT January 2nd through February 14th of 2020.
  • A Level 03 class that was held at BCIT February 17th through March 16th BCIT was shut down March 16th due to COVID-19 but the apprentices were able to complete the training.

BCIT will not be starting any new face to face training until they are able to ensure the health and safety of all participants in the Boilermaker program. That means that the Boilermaker Foundation Program which was scheduled to begin on Monday March 23rd was postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date. An announcement with respect to the fall semester beginning September 2020 will be shared shortly.

The Union has received confirmation from Energy Safety Canada that the H2S Alive, Confined Space and Fall Arrest tickets that are to expire between January 1st, 2020 and September 1st, 2020 will now remain effective until September 1st, 2020.

The New Pressure Welder Program Is Here

If you are currently working as a pressure welder in BC or you hold a current BCP-100 certificate, and you meet the certification requirements, you can transition to a Class A certificate without fees before December 3, 2020. The Class A Certificate of Qualification allows you to perform pressure welding while employed by a licensed contractor in the Province of BC. This certificate must be renewed every three years before your birth month.

If you do not apply before December 3, 2020, you will need to apply for a Class A certificate as a new pressure welder in BC, which costs $389. This fee does not include the recognized test administrator practical exam fee.

For more information on the new pressure welder program you can visit https://www.technicalsafetybc.ca/blog/new-pressure-welder-program-here or contact Gord or Jamie at the Boilermaker Apprenticeship and Trade Advancement office @ 778-369-3590 and we will assist you in the application process.

Boilermakers Lodge 359 Shop Update

Bargaining for Farr Fab and IST Boiler:

Due to the COVID-19 crisis and the economic uncertainty that has developed as a result of the pandemic, bargaining of a new collective agreement for both Farr Fabricating and IST Boiler have been postponed until further notice.  Both parties will remain in regular communication while monitoring the situation on a month to month basis and will commence bargaining when both parties feel it is safe to do so. When bargaining resumes and a new collective agreement is reached, all changes to the ratified agreement will be made retroactive to the expiry of the current agreements.

Peerless Ltd has also felt the impact of this pandemic which has led to major layoffs in the last few weeks. Starting May 1st the shop is shut down for 9 weeks. There will be a skeleton crew of members working limited hours for the next few weeks but there are no plans to re-open the shop prior to the 9 weeks expiring. Bargaining between Lodge 359 and Peerless has also been postponed until further notice.

On a positive note, BM&M, Valmont WCE, Inter-Kraft, Metal Distributors have not been overly affected by COVID-19 and have maintained standard operation during the current crisis. All employers are doing their part to minimize the risk for all employees and are strictly following all government health and safety protocols. It is equally important that all members working during this period protect themselves and others, especially those with pre-existing medical conditions and older people, by practicing good hygiene: frequent hand washing, not touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your arm and staying home as much as possible when not at work.

 2020 Scholarship Awards

Congratulations to the following 2020 International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Scholarship Winners in Canada:

The IEC Scholarship Committee has awarded scholarships to the following Canadian applicants:

$1,000 – Mishka Brideau, daughter of Renaud Brideau, Local Lodge 73. $1,000 – Samuel Marc Chiasson, son of Aldeo Chiasson, Local Lodge 146. $1,000 – Uto Hong, daughter of Changwoo Hong, Local Lodge 146. $1,000 – Savannah Maria Koorbatoff, daughter of Kevin Koorbatoff, Local Lodge 359. $1,000 – Amelie Edith Larade, daughter of Mark Larade, Local Lodge 73. $1,000 – Jada Skylar Leblanc, daughter of David Leblanc, Local Lodge 128. $1,000 – Aurora M. MacInnis, daughter of Cameron MacInnis, Local Lodge 73. $1,000 – Anja Marx, daughter of Hagen Marx, Local Lodge 359. $1,000 – Katelyn Elizabeth Spurr, daughter of Adam Spurr, Local Lodge D579. $1,000 – Tansy Anna-Jean Tober, daughter of Larry Tober, Local Lodge D575. $1,000 – Tatiana Catherine Vilchez, daughter of Jose Vilchez, Local Lodge 146. $1,000 – Virginia Paige Wilson, daughter of Robb Wilson, Local Lodge 73.

In addition, the Canadian Federation of Labour (CFL) is sponsoring three (3) $1,000 scholarship awards. The IEC Scholarship Committee has awarded the CFL scholarships to the following Canadian candidates.

$1,000 – Mishka Brideau – daughter of Renaud Brideau, Local Lodge 73.  $1,000 – Tatiana Catherine Vilchez – daughter of Jose Vilchez, Local Lodge 146. $1,000 – Virginia Paige Wilson, dauther of Robb Wilson, Local Lodge 73.

The scholarship award winners were selected from among 72 applicants. In selecting these winners, the members of the Scholarship Committee were highly impressed with their excellent grades throughout high school, their many achievement awards, their participation in many extracurricular activities and their well written essays. There are so many applicants who are deserving of commendation and I wish them all well. I am proud of each of them.

Sincerely and fraternally,   Newton B. Jones       International President

 BOILERMAKERS LODGE 359 STICKER DESIGN CONTEST

!!WE ARE IN NEED OF SOME NEW STICKERS!!

We have extended the due date to receive sticker ideas, so please send us your designs and we’ll pick a winner (or winners!) in June. You may also think about submitting a “Lodge 359 75th Anniversary” sticker design for next year’s 2021 anniversary.

STICKER CONTEST RULES AND REGULATIONS

  1. All artwork MUST be submitted to memberservices@boilermakers359.org by June 15th, 2020.
  2. Artwork should be kept to a standard sticker size, which is roughly 2.5”x2.5”, and does not have to be professionally finished. We can take your idea and make it happen!
  3. Once submitted, all copyrights are with Lodge 359 and may be produced by us as Lodge 359 promotional materials such as stickers, clothing, window decals, hats, etc. at our exclusive discretion.
  4. All artwork submitted MUST be an original of the contest participant and have no copyrights attached.
  5. This contest is open to all Lodge 359 members or their relatives, and to all ages.
  6. Lodge 359 has the right to modify any artwork that is submitted.
  7. The winner, or winners, will be contacted and asked to come to Lodge 359 to pick up their prize.  If the winner is unable to pick up their prize then Lodge 359 will mail the prize to the winner.

On behalf of all the staff we hope everyone is staying safe out there, and we anticipate lots of work once we get through these extraordinary times.

WCB and Disability Law Update (Covid-19) – Part Two

Transitioning from Phase 1 to Phase 2

With the emergence of Covid-19, the provincial government took immediate steps to close and reduce non-essential service providers in the province. Some essential services, such as health care, transportation, sanitation, and critical infrastructure remained open. However, those industries were required to develop safe operation plans that were in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.

The safe operation plans were meant to ensure a reduced risk of exposure to the virus and a reduction of workplaces becoming vectors of transmission.  With a reduction in cases, the Government is now prepared to move to Phase 2.

Phase 2 Mid-May and onward

Effective the middle of May, additional, non-essential services will be permitted to open and resume business. These services include:

–          elective surgery,

–          community paramedical providers,

–          retail sector,

–          salons,

–          restaurants,

–          office-based work,

–          community facilities, such as museums and libraries,

–          child care, and

–          outdoor facilities including parks and beaches.

However, in reopening, the provincial health officer has been clear that a further spike in Covid-19 may result in a reduction of services that are available.

Importantly when reopening, all businesses and operations will need to do so in accordance with enhanced protocols. The enhanced protocols need to be in alignment with Public Health and Safety Guidelines and WCB Guidelines. The Public Health and Safety Guidelines are located here.

Phase 2 Union Perspective

Unions have an important role to play specifically in the context of JOHS committees and being engaged in the development of enhanced protocols. The WCB has been clear, it will not be reviewing or approving the plans of individual employers. However, the expectation from WCB is that employers will take steps to minimize the risk of Covid-19 and these steps should include engaging with workers. Such plans must demonstrate how employers will reduce the risk of exposure of the virus through the following:

–          how the workplace is organized and arranged,

–          how specific activities are carried out,

–          cleaning and sanitizing, and

–          communication at the workplace.

If WCB conducts an inspection, it will ask employers how these steps have been taken to protect their workers. Employers must take these steps to ensure the safety of workers. If employers are not taking these steps, you may wish to consider filing a grievance on language around non-compliance with the WCA and related regulations or alternatively, by contacting the WCB Prevention Information Line. Contact information for the line can be found here. The Union has an important role to play in the safe return of workers. We will be doing out bit to ensure Covid-19 does not spike by pushing employers to return workers back safely into the workplace.

Day of Mourning

Courtesy of WCB Advocate Adam Picotte

I write this email on April 28, the day of mourning. A day when we remember the thousands of workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness due to workplace related disease. There is an urgency to this observance this year when each of us is either working in or know people working in essential services and putting their lives at risk for the people of British Columbia. Because of the pandemic, the day or mourning is being broadcast online and can be viewed at 10:30am at https://www.dayofmourning.bc.ca/#.

I will provide a brief WCB update in this email and then focus on my top three themes for managing workplace returns during COVID-19.

WCB Update

The Board is introducing a welcome change to their operation over the next few weeks as it will begin communicating with workers and representatives over email. With written consent, case managers will start to use email during the claims process to share information such as completed forms and return to work plans. The goal is to have this available to all workers by early May. I will provide further information about this as it becomes available.

Themes for returning to work

My top three themes for managing workplace returns during COVID-19 are the following: income security, balancing safety with economic stability, and balancing privacy with economic stability. While some industries such as health care have predominantly remained active because of essential services, many industries have been closed or reduced. However, even those that have remained open will be looking to implement policies that ensure focus on productive employment. To this end, employers will be looking to put the weight of the burden on workers. I will discuss each of these in turn and give my quick take on things to consider from a unionized perspective.

Income Security

Employers will be looking to return workers as quickly as possible with the least associated costs. They will want to maintain production or economic activity and not risk disruption due to an outbreak. My sense is that this will result in employers being quick to send people home without a diagnosis of confirmation of illness. So what steps can you take? Consider the following:

  • Allow for periods of paid leave when there is a suspicion of COVID-19. This will ensure workers do not attend work sites when potentially exposed and encourage early testing for the disease.
  • Given that many workplaces will be looking to bring in selective people from the workforce or may want to return employees outside of seniority, rely upon seniority provisions in your collective agreement to obtain the best result for your members.

Balancing safety with economic stability

This is arguably where labour will have the strongest ability to assert control over processes. Employers are required to ensure a safe and secure workplace and unions have recourse through both the WCB, Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, and collective agreements to ensure this takes place. In order to ensure worker safety, consideration should be given to policies that address the following:

  • What provisions are in place for personal protective equipment.
  • To what extent is social distancing required to ensure safety.
  • Can work be done safely at home or in an alternate setting.
  • Can alternative schedules be created to ensure those taking transit are not placed at increased risk.

Balancing privacy with economic stability

Privacy is one of the union’s strongest tools when dealing with employer overreach. I have already heard from a number of you about employer testing for temperatures and requiring medical clearance forms. Ultimately, what an employer can require needs to be balanced against the individual privacy considerations of each employee. We are living in uncertain times and this creates a greater emphasis on testing and medical clearance. My quick takes on this are as follows:

  • Meet the employer on the front end to work on policies for testing.
  • Ensure any policy is initially temporary and include provisions for revisiting the policy after a few months.
  • Any requirement for medical information must be for a specific purpose and must be limited in scope for the purpose it is being obtained for.
  • When negotiating these terms with employers, remember to rely upon anti-discrimination terms in your collective agreements and the incorporation of provincial or federal human rights code as the case may be.

Business Manager’s Update

Business Manager Jordan Streng and the Union’s staff want to ensure that the members are being kept up to date on the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic are having on our membership and our work picture. We will be updating the membership through regular notices such as this and will be posting on our Website and Facebook page. Updates may also appear on the nightly job-line if they are directly related to the work picture and of an immediate nature.

We will attempt to keep you up to date on the work, dispatch, and H&W side, but please keep informed through your local and national news feeds for all general information.

We continue recommending that all members be prepared for a considerable delay to the start of the spring shutdown season, and the work and pay cheques that come along with it.

*Our website will be down for maintenance on Wednesday April 15th, 2020

 

  • Beginning April 5th we have reduced wages and allowances for Boilermaker Staff and the Dispatcher, and in combination with the recently announced Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), we will be seeking to reduce our overall office payroll cost by over 50%. This will be re-evaluated on an ongoing basis as further information about the CEWS is released, and further actions may be taken at the discretion of the BM/ST if deemed necessary.
  • The Health and Welfare Trustees have made changes to the H&W Plan to assist the membership during the COVID-19 pandemic and the work slowdown. These changes have been previously posted in our news section, please click here.
  • The Unfair Labour Practices that we filed with the BC Labour Relation Board against the BCA, CIMS, and all other contractors seeking to switch over to the CLRA agreement continues. The COVID-19 remediation practices have left the LRB in a difficult situation, as all in person hearings have now been postponed or cancelled. The Boilermakers, along with the BC Building Trades Council (BCBCBTU), are seeking to have the current BCA of BC agreement recognized as the enduring collective agreement for these contractors. We continue to work with our legal counsel, the BCBCBTU and their counsel, and the Labour Board to that end. The BCBCBTU has also rejected the application by the CLRA to use the CLRA-BM359 agreement on behalf of these employers, and BCBCBTU continues to support Lodge 359’s position. There have been many applications regarding standing in each case, and many submissions to date to put certain aspects of this complex case into abeyance until others are heard. We continue to emphasize to the Labour Board that our membership must have answers sooner than later, but we know our case is solid and that employers cannot just pick and choose whatever collective agreement suits them the best, without our express consent.
  • General Office Hours will remain reduced to Mon-Thurs 8am-3pm, Fri 8am-12pm. The office is closed for Good Friday and Easter Monday. The office remains closed for all walk-in traffic and staff is alternating between working remotely and in the office, to reduce personal contact. Staff emails can be found on our website.
  • Our shop members are now experiencing slowdowns and we expect this to continue. Peerless has recently announced a complete plant shutdown for 9 weeks beginning at the end of April. Shop members can email Jeremy directly if they have any questions or concerns.
  • We are continually speaking to contractors about ongoing and planned work, and we are encouraged that there may be some jobs available if they can meet the health guidelines of the Provincial and Federal Governments.
  • Emergency call-outs will continue to be dispatched as they occur. Some regular job orders may also be dispatched, since the trades are considered essential services for the ongoing maintenance and repair of industrial facilities. If you are called by dispatch you will be asked all the questions regarding your health, travel, and personal contact history and you must only accept the job if you are able. You may be asked to have your temperature taken at the gate and complete a COVID-19 health check form before being allowed onsite, and you must be both willing and able to accept the job.
  • The Union has received confirmation from Energy Safety Canada that the H2SAlive, Confined Space and Fall Arrest tickets that are to expire between January 1st, 2020 and September 1st, 2020 will now remain effective until September 1st, 2020.
  • Stay Safe out there.Fraternally, Jordan and Staff.

Helpful Links and announcements:

Call:  1-888-268-4319 (available 7:30 AM- 8 PM)
Text:  (604) 630-0300

PROTECTING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

These are challenging times, and we urge you to be mindful of your mental health as well as your physical health. As a member of the BC Building Trades, you have access to the Construction Industry Rehabilitation Plan, which offers a number of options to keep your mental health in check. CIRP offers long-term counselling to assist members dealing with depression, anxiety, substance use, pain management and other mental health concerns. All services are free, and available via video conferencing during this new working-from-home “normal.” 

Visit the CIRP website, email info@constructionrehabplan.com or call 1-888-521-8611 for more information.