Lodge 359 Business Managers Update
Well, this year has definitely been filled with its ups and downs and will be remembered by most as anything but normal. We have seen the work picture go from an extremely busy start with the Parkland refinery outage in Burnaby, to everything grinding to an almost complete halt due to COVID-19, and ultimately finding 359 ending the year with one of the busiest seasons our Members have seen in a very long while.
With the year 2020 nearing its end, it has proven itself to be on track as one of the most memorable, and in many ways one of the most challenging, times this Lodge has ever undergone. With the unfortunate dissolution of the BCA of BC, our primary contractor association, we saw Lodge 359 take on one of the biggest endeavors it has been tasked with and come out successful…to a degree, but there is still further to go. When the BCA sent us notice in late 2019 of their desire to dissolve the long-standing relationship with the Lodge 359 Boilermakers, we had no idea how the outcome to such a lengthy legal battle would eventually turn out. Thankfully, with the support of our affiliates through the BCBCBTU and the patience and determination of this proud Membership, we ultimately received a major decision in our favor from the LRB.
Going into the New Year we will now be faced with awaiting one last decision from the LRB, which will define the next steps and who will be involved with renegotiating the now expired BCA agreement. Either way, we are very proud of all the efforts by everyone involved in this endeavor and especially in the Membership of this Union for their willingness to do what we do best, and show the contractors that we will not be broken by the attempts to undermine the integrity of the agreements we all work under.
Through all of the difficult challenges we as Lodge 359 faced in 2020, this administration would like to express to all Members that we couldn’t be more honored to be afforded the ability to represent such a distinct and respected Membership. With the upcoming year quickly approaching, it will most certainly offer its own unique challenges, as the work picture is very busy and the pandemic unfortunately still upon us.
Have a safe and wonderful holiday season.
Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer
Transfer Requests and Travel Card Reports
As the long term projects such as Site C Dam, LNG Kitimat and the KTLP Tank Work ramp up in the New Year along with the short term shutdowns scheduled for 2021, our Lodge will be in need of manpower. There will be plenty of opportunities for travel cards to work with Lodge 359 and we welcome all our Brothers and Sisters.
We have seen an increase in transfer requests from Members across Canada wanting to join Lodge 359. The E-Board would like to remind Lodge 359 Members to complete travel card reports when possible. Feedback from our Members provides the Executive Board with valuable information when assessing a transfer request while the member is still working as a travel card. Reports can be filled out via our website under the Membership tab here Membership Services, or by submitting a written statement to firstname.lastname@example.org . Travel Card reports can be completed by anyone, in any capacity, and is not limited to only the onsite Supervision or Job Stewards. The reports are not meant to be slanderous, but to provide the board with an honest assessment of a travel card member’s work habits, skill, and professionalism. The Executive Board wants to ensure that any member accepted into Lodge 359 will be an asset and provide our Membership with another professional Union trades person.
On behalf of the Executive Board, I would like to commend all of our Members for their perseverance during this difficult year. It was challenging for everyone having to adjust to the postponed shutdowns, new safety protocols, and adapt to new work environments. Our Members have handled these changes with the utmost professionalism.
I wish all our Members a very Safe and Happy Holiday Season.
Lodge 359 President
Site C Clean Energy Hydro Dam Project Update
Groupe LAR Penstock:
At the end of November 2020 a milestone was met with the completion of Penstock Unit #1 into the powerhouse and 75% complete on Unit #2, of the 6 total penstocks. There is definitely the need to recognize the Members on this particular scope of the project, as the precise fit up and exceptional welding has less than a 1% repair rate after X-ray testing, and this is a testament to the skill and ability of our tradespeople. With each of the sections weighing over 100,000 lbs and with 100 feet of multi-pass lineal welding, there are currently 42 pieces installed, putting this portion at 50% complete. Contractor Groupe LAR has expressed multiple times how they are continually impressed with the skills and abilities of the Boilermakers and the relationship they have built together.
Voith Hydro T&G Area 24 – OSS Fabrication Shop:
This is the Fabrication portion of the Turbines and Generators sub-contracted to Groupe LAR for Voith Hydro’s installation in the powerhouse, with 90% of the completed scroll casing components already in the lay down area. This is another unique attribute of the trade, with highly skilled and trained Boilermaker robotic welding operators and fabricators. With the guidance of Groupe Lar, one of our own Members was able to build and share a robotics welding manual for the welding of these components, along with being able to share this information with the Penstock job Members, as the procedures are similar in scope.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those Members for their dedication to this increased scope of work under the added LOU to the site SPNA agreement, which started September 2017 and will wrap up around March-April 2021 with a consistent number of Boilermakers employed throughout that time.
Voith Hydro T&G Powerhouse Installation:
This is the supply and installation of the Turbines and Generators in the Powerhouse, which went through the job mark-up process and consisting of some composite crew work. This work was awarded in October 2020 by Voith Hydro. There is currently a small crew of trades dispatched to the start of this final portion of the project involving Boilermakers, and we will be seeing an increase in manpower in the New Year. This is another opportunity to show this contractor and BC Hydro what has already been well established with regards to the rigging, fitting and welding of these steel components by the Boilermaker trade, that we are the best in the business.
COVID-19 measures have been implemented by BC Hydro throughout the site, including the ATCO camp, the medical clinic, and all contractors are providing COVID-19 information and protocols. BC Hydro has restricted non-essential visitors to site and security has implemented controls to minimize transmission risk at all Site C access points, including workers scanning their own site-access passes and using video verification of ID, as well as health and temperature screening.
Any Members involved with Site C know this can be a stressful time for them and their families. If anyone is feeling overwhelmed, they can always reach out to their Employer and/or Union Employee Family Assistance Programs.
Please take the time to enjoy the Christmas break, ensuring your safe return to this project.
Lodge 359 Dispatcher’s Report
2020 was a year like no other. It came with extreme challenges for our Membership. Boilermakers Lodge 359 Members successfully completed all the fall shutdowns through an unprecedented worldwide pandemic. Throughout the spring lock down, the office staff were involved in many meetings with Clients and Contractors. The Clients and Contractors were concerned with starting a shut down and not be able to complete the job within the time allotted due to the COVID-19. The Union assured both the Client and Contractor that this Membership was up to the challenge, and this Membership rose to the occasion. The amount of work that was accomplished through these turbulent times, and the adaptation to the new safety measures that were put in place, is truly commendable.
Groupe LAR has reduced the manpower on the Site C Penstock, but will once again increase its numbers after the winter. The small crew in the OSS shop remain committed in building the scroll case parts. Voith Hydro has also taken a small crew of Boilermakers to begin the installation of the turbine and generator. In the New Year they will also increase manpower as work continues to progress.
LNG Canada in Kitimat is running with a crew of about 20 Boilermakers, and they will also be increasing their manpower as we progress into the New Year.
The KLTP tank project is now underway. Horton-CBI will be constructing 14 tanks on Burnaby Mountain. The first crew of Boilermakers have started on the job, and Horton will be putting in more orders as the need arises. Although this job is within the “free zone” it will have subsistence for Members. You can contact dispatch to get the details on this, but it will allow those from outside the area to have a chance at this work.
All this along with the scheduled shutdowns and turnarounds will make for a very busy 2021.
In closing I would like to wish the brotherhood of Lodge 359 a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Lodge 359 Apprenticeship and Trade Advancement
The Boilermakers Lodge 359 Canadian Top Apprentice for 2020 is awarded to Brother Adrian Keller. Due to the prolonged duration and impact of COVID-19, it has been decided by the National Training Trust Fund Trustees that they will be holding a virtual event to recognize the 2020 Apprentices. There will be a one hour event held on Thursday, February 18, 2020 (7pm EST). Holding this type of event will allow us a greater opportunity to include more stakeholders, family, friends and Members. Hopefully bringing an even wider recognition to our apprentices and their accomplishments.
For the first time the Boilermaker Foundation course is being held at our own Joe Kiwior/Ivan Shook Training Centre.
With the continuing demand and progress we are seeing in British Columbia Lodge 359 is being resourceful and moving forward with training. Recent recruitment drives and partnerships with BCIT have led to full classes, ensuring that the Boilermaker trade is successful well into the future. Pictured below are the Boilermaker Foundation students attending the Joe Kiwior/Ivan Shook Boilermaker training centre.
On November 20th Lodge 359 received a tank donation from Horton CBI. This donation is a great opportunity to train our new Boilermakers through the Apprenticeship program, and current Boilermaker Members can refresh and upgrade their skills. This tank donation will also showcase our skills to existing and future Contractors and the Owners/Clients they service.
- 25 foot diameter
- 2 rings for a total 14 feet high
- Horton CBI to supply key plates, bull pins, fit up gear, ladders scaffold
- Horton CBI to supply plate clamps and rigging
This investment in training will ensure the future success of the Boilermakers, and we wish to thank Greg Blender and Horton CBI for their generous donation.
Apprenticeship and Training Coordinator
Lodge 359 Shops Update
Our Lodge 359 shop Members experienced many challenges during the course of 2020, most of which were due to the impact of COVID-19 on the economy. Members and employers were faced with complex employment situations which included cut backs on orders, temporary layoffs, and increased safety measures put in place by our Provincial Health Authorities. Unfortunately, the economic toll of the pandemic proved to be too much for IST Boiler, which will be closing its doors at the end of 2020. The IST Boiler shop, which has had several different names and owners during its existence, has been an integral part of Boilermakers Lodge 359 for over 30 years. Most of the wall panels, gen bank tubes, smelt spouts and other components our field Members have installed over the years have been manufactured by our shop Members at IST Boiler. We wish to thank all the Members that have worked at IST Boiler for many years for the dedication.
On a more positive note, we are starting to see the industrial sector moving in the right direction. Members who were laid off are now starting to be recalled back to their respective shops, and we’re hopeful that trend will continue in the New Year. The Union was also able to bargain a new collective agreement with Farr Fabricating Ltd. despite the economic conditions that we were faced with during bargaining, there were no cuts on wages or any other monetary items. Farr continues to be an important and fair unionized employer in the Prince George region for both industrial and construction sectors.
We wish all our shop Members a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Lodge 359 General Office Update
It has been a tumultuous year for us all. These large capitol projects and their respective agreements are a tall order to oversee. Although the addition of many new or returning Contractors to BC has been a challenge for all the BM staff, we are committed to ensuring that not just our fair Union Contractors can be successful in BC, but that our Members are treated fairly and get to go home safe and with all the wages and benefits that they are entitled.
Our continuing work on the BCA of BC dissolution, the negotiating and management of multiple and ongoing Capitol Projects in BC, our full and ongoing participation in the BCBCBTU to protect our Boilermaker interests, and the ever-present shutdown and turnaround issues has proven not just our staff’s commitment, but in particular Jordan’s unparalleled dedication to our Membership.
We continue to work for our Shop Members, and are committed to ensure they also have fair and equitable representation.
Our work on ensuring safe and secure online Membership access continues, and we have an ongoing commitment to stay up to date regarding both training and technology available to Dispatch and the General Office systems.
The Boilermaker Staff and the Move-Up Administration Staff has also had to adjust and adapt to continue to operate during COVID-19 on behalf of our Membership, and we are all committed to continue. If you are calling in and speaking with our admin staff, please pass along your appreciation if you have the opportunity.
On behalf of all of us here, including our Move-Up Administration Staff of Laura, Wanda, Jamie, and Poon we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years!
Assistant Business Manager