COVID-19 Update

In order to ensure the Boilermakers Lodge 359 General Office can continue to serve the Membership during this COVID-19 pandemic we are not allowing walk-ins to the office or the Training Center until further notice. Members can call the General Office at 778 369 3590 or email with any questions/concerns that they may have.

Members with concerns regarding Extended Medical Benefits and Health and Welfare please contact Bilsland Griffith at 1 877 926 4537.

The Harmac Shutdown in Nanaimo has been postponed until further notice any member that has accepted the job please post under forty.  The Boilermakers Lodge 359 will be providing more information in regards to ongoing jobs as well as future shutdowns to our website as it becomes available.


Due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19 globally, Construction Labour Relations (CLR) and the BC Building Trades (BCBT) are proactively trying to limit the spread of infection in the workplace.

Our shared priority is the health, safety and welfare of our 35,000 members and signatory contractors.

Although the Public health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for the general population, we must all remain vigilant in order to protect public health.

Health Canada recommends the following procedures to increase proper hygiene and reduce the risk of infection or spreading infection to others:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food;
  • use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available;
  • when coughing or sneezing:
    • cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand
    • dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible in a lined waste basket and wash your hands afterwards;
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands

SYMPTOMS: The following are common symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Dry cough

RISK: You are at a greater risk for COVID-19 If:

  • You have recently travelled to a COVID-19 impacted area
  • You have been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19
  • You have been in close contact with a person with acute respiratory illness who has been to a COVID-19 impacted area

If you experience the symptoms above AND/OR you have a higher risk of developing COVID-19, please contact your health care provider. You can also call 811 to speak with a registered nurse.

**Please note that the federal government has announced changes to the Employment Insurance program waiving the mandatory one-week waiting period, allowing those who self-isolate or quarantine to apply for support immediately.

CLR and BCBT will continue to monitor the outbreak and provide guidance as directed by public health agencies.


Health Canada

BC Centre for Disease Control

World Health Organization

New Alternative To Make A Health & Welfare “Self-Payment”


Effective immediately, for members who receive a self-pay notice from the Plan administrator for continuing coverage under the Health and Welfare Plan, you will be able to make the payment directly from your bank account, provided your financial institution has added the Boilermakers 359 Health and Welfare Plan as a vendor.

To set this up, log onto your online banking site and search for “Boilermakers 359 Health/Welfare Plan” as a vendor or payee for bill payments. Please note that some financial institutions may have abbreviated the vendor name during the online banking set up, make sure that “359” is included in the name you select. Please be very careful when selecting the vendor as there are other vendors with similar names.


Your account number is your Manulife ID which is found on your direct pay card as well as on your self-pay notice.

IMPORTANT: When you transfer the funds to the Boilermakers 359 Health/Welfare Plan using online banking, please pay the exact amount on the self-pay notice. You may not “prepay” for coverage for months in the future. You may only pay the amount shown on your self-pay notice. Any over-payment will be subject to a $25.00 administration fee, any balance remaining after the administrative fee is charged will be refunded to you and NOT used as a credit towards future coverage.

When you transfer the funds to the Boilermakers 359 Health/Welfare Plan using online banking, you are certifying that you are paying either the subsidized or unsubsidized self-payment amount based on your employment as stated on your self-payment notice:

SUBSIDIZED SELF-PAYMENT: During the work month for which you were not employed or, if you were, it was ONLY with an employer required to make contributions on your behalf of the Boilermakers Lodge 359 Health & Welfare Fund.

UNSUBSIDIZED SELF-PAYMENT: During the work month, you were employed by an employer who is NOT required to make contributions to the Boilermakers Lodge 359 Health & Welfare Plan.

Should you have any questions or concerns please contact the Plan administrator at 1-877-926-4537 for further instructions.


Boilermaker Foundation Course Tuition Reimbursement

The Boilermakers Lodge 359 Apprenticeship and Trade Advancement Committee is pleased to announce that the Union will be pay the full tuition for the March Boilermaker foundation course at BCIT subject to the following condition. Tuition will only be reimbursed to those who successfully complete the Boilermaker foundation course. It is important to note that this reimbursement offer is only available for new apprentices attending the March 2020 foundation course. Please contact the Coordinator at 778-369-3590 for more information.

Gord Weel
Boilermakers Lodge 359
Apprenticeship and Trade Advancement Coordinator

December 2019 Newsletter

Update: Regarding the dissolution of the BCA of BC

We have had zero communication from the BCA regarding the dissolution of the BCA of BC despite many attempts on the Union’s part. The Union has nevertheless learned that the BCA of BC Board of Directors and employers have voted in favour of dissolving the association in BC. We have also learned that they have now taken the further step of recommending to their contractors that they should join the CLRA of BC.

We are working with our legal counsel to ensure that our members rights are protected to every extent possible, and the members have passed a motion to fund the legal costs enabling us to do that at the November meeting. The International President and the VP of Canada have also approved the funding of these legal costs. Our objective now is to follow all possible avenues in order to maintain our current industry standard Collective Agreement and to fight the unwarranted and unjust position taken by the BCA of BC and its member contractors to try and circumvent the very fundamentals of the collective bargaining process.

The Union has already filed one unfair labour practice at the BC Labour Relations Board, and we foresee others in the near future. We continue discussing the potential benefits of signing a renewed agreement as independents with individual contractors, but are also confident that the BCA Agreement as we know it can remain the industry standard agreement for the majority of our Boilermaker work no matter who the contractor’s bargaining agent may be, and this is our main focus at this time.

As more information becomes available in the new year, we will continue to provide updates.

Lower Mainland Tank Work, Site C Dam, Pembina Prince Rupert Propane Spheres

We are already experiencing issues supplying manpower to these projects. We need the membership to rethink where their pay cheques may be coming from for the next few years, and to start looking beyond the maintenance shutdowns that we are familiar with here in BC, and start planning around longer term jobs like the ones above. Although we are actively seeking to have these jobs filled by current members, the reality is that if members continue to refuse these jobs, they will have to be filled by others including travel cards, projos, retirees, and permits. The worst case scenario is that if our contractors can’t fill manpower requirements, the owner/client community may look elsewhere to fill the void.

The Union is now looking at a welder apprenticeship program that will fit in with the changes to the new Technical Safety BC welder program, and can assist in supplying welders to these projects. We are also actively recruiting at the welding colleges and trade shows, and have advertisements and pamphlets being utilized in various areas.

There are still spaces in the March BCIT Foundations Program also, if anyone knows of a good Boilermaker Red Seal candidate they can contact Gord Weel at our office, or BCIT directly.

Lower Mainland Tanks- over 20 tanks awarded over the next two years, with 6 in Richmond already started, North Van and YVR tanks beginning soon, and approximately 14 tanks at Burnaby Mountain scheduled for a summer of 2020 start.

Site C Dam- two contracts at Site C. The Penstocks and the Turbine/Generator are both ongoing and will continue to ramp up and be ongoing for the next few years.

Pembina Spheres – Ongoing work here and will continue through most of 2020.

Health & Welfare Plan Improvements

The Trustees of the Health and Welfare Plan have been hearing from many members regarding the phase out of provincial MSP premiums, and are inquiring how that effects the H&W Plan. It certainly does help the plan to defer increases to the premiums due to the increasing cost of healthcare, but there is also opportunity for improvements in the plan.

We are happy to report that the Trustees have recently voted on and passed improvements to the plan and our plan administrator, Bilsland Griffith Benefit Administrators will be sending out a detailed information package directly to plan members on these improvements.

Canada Revenue Agency Notice of Objections

Members who filed notices of objections with the CRA after their re-assessments regarding travel, overtime meals, etc.., have been receiving letters from the CRA asking for certain further information. We recommend reading your letter carefully and supplying the additional information that was not supplied originally. If you require your work history, it is available to you through your MemberLink account, and if you cannot access it there we can help you with that if you call the general office. Our Collective Agreements are all on our website and can be downloaded and then Articles cut and pasted if you require copies of any specific Articles that they are requiring.

We remain committed to following up with new and/or amended Collective Agreement language to assist the membership and our contractors in being compliant with the CRA, but until we get some understand from the CRA about what that compliance actually is, we are limited in what’s available to us other than just throwing darts at a board.

Until that time, and we suggest that going forward on every job, please track all of your expenses diligently. There are many apps available out there now that can assist greatly with this, otherwise keep everything and write down everything in a log book.

Boilermakers Lodge 359 Sticker Contest

Send us your designs and we’ll pick a winner (or winners!) in February and have some new decals made soon after.


  1. All artwork MUST be submitted to by February 1, 2020.
  2. Artwork should be kept to a standard sticker size, which is roughly 2.5”x2.5”.
  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.

Apprenticeship and Trade Advancement

The new pressure welder program is now open for applications. Members who are currently working as pressure welders and meet certification requirements can transition to this program without fees before December 3, 2020. New graduates, apprentices, and pressure welders from outside of BC can apply for a certificate without fees before January 3, 2020. Members requiring assistance can send copies of the required documentation to the Apprenticeship and Trade Advancement office and Lodge 359 will submit the application to Technical Safety B.C.

Learn more about the program and how to apply.

Pressure welders in British Columbia are required to hold this certificate of qualification. This nationally recognized program assesses a welder’s skills and abilities, ensuring all pressure welders in BC are working to the relevant codes and standards.


  1. Complete and submit the application form for Transition to Class A:

Step 1:

Pressure welders currently working in BC can transition to a class A certificate of qualification without fees, provided they meet the below requirements and apply to transition before December 3, 2020.

If you do not apply to transition to a class A certificate of qualification by December 3, 2020, you will need to apply for a new certificate of qualification and pay the appropriate fees.

To be eligible to transition to a class A pressure welder certificate of qualification, you must:

  • have successfully completed one of the following welding performance qualification tests:
    • SMAW process using E6010 and E7018 electrodes
    • GTAW & SMAW processes using ER70S and E7018 filler metals
  • provide a copy of the appropriate pages in your logbook or other evidence demonstrating that you have welded to this procedure at least once every six months since the welding performance qualification test (View Example). Please note: if you cannot prove continuity, you will need to either contact your previous or current employer(s) to enter all related continuity dates or you can retake the welding performance qualification tests.

And provide one of the following:

  • A welder certificate of qualification with Red Seal Endorsement issued by Industry Training Authority (ITA)
  • A welder level B or A certificate of qualification with or without Red Seal Endorsement issued by ITA
  • A welder trade qualification with or without a Red Seal Endorsement issued by an apprenticeship authority in another jurisdiction of Canada
  • A Canadian credential authorizing the holder to perform pressure welding in another Canadian jurisdiction. This should be equivalent to the regulated work of a pressure welder’s certificate of qualification authorized to perform under the Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Refrigeration Safety Regulation

If you have welded to the procedures required but do not have the welding qualifications required for transition, contact Industry Training Authority BC to challenge the red seal exam. If you have a replacement logbook from the ITA, we can enter all welding performance qualification tests taken before December 3, 2019, for a fee. Any tests taken after December 3, 2019, must be entered by the Recognized Test Administrator you took the test with. To enter all related continuity dates, contact your previous or current employer(s).

Step 2:

You need to provide proof (colour photocopies) that you meet all the eligibility requirements, listed in step 1, for the certificate class you are applying for. When you submit your documents please block out any personally identifiable information such as SIN, birth date, and picture. Your full name, if applicable, should be visible on any uploaded documents.

Step 3:

You will need to complete and submit your application form for your respective class along with documents that prove you meet the minimum requirements. Submit your application online below:

Members requiring assistance with the application form please call the Apprenticeship and Trade Advancement Office and we will provide assistance to facilitate the transition. Please let me know if you have any questions or require any further information.

Boilermakers Shop Update

The shops have been steady throughout the year with limited fluctuation in the amount of members working. Peerless had disappointing summer with the uncertainty in the forest industry but are still employing over 90 members. The remaining shops have stayed status quo and look to continue the pace in 2020. We are currently in the process of bargaining with Valmont and InterKraft which are two long time valued fabrication shops of the Boilermakers Lodge 359. We are hopeful that we’ll have new collective agreements in place to start the New Year.

Lodge 359 Apparel

We have some new items available for our members to show off their Lodge 359 pride. We recently updated our hats which have received great reviews from the members so far.  We also have 4 new styles of t-shirts in all sizes along with plenty of stock from the collection that was released in spring of this year such as hoodies, long sleeves and Tough Duck jackets. Stop in at the General Office and purchase your new swag today!

On behalf of all the staff we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years, and we will see you all in 2020!!

2019 Children’s Christmas Party

On December the 7th the Children’s Christmas Party was held at the Union’s meeting hall. A special thank you goes out to Santa’s helpers Emily, Lauren and Genevieve.


Important Information Regarding The BCA of BC

Attention all Lodge 359 Field Members

It has come to the attention of the Union that further to the July 30th enablement request by the BCA of BC, and the subsequent decision by CIMS Limited Partnership to give notice to the BCA of BC to withdraw from the BCA of BC, we learned late last week that the BCA of BC is now holding a vote to dissolve the BCA of BC, as per a recommendation made by their Board of Directors. Please click here to view the BCA letter. They are holding a special called meeting to discuss and vote on that proposal this Friday, November the 8th.

The Union has since been in contact with many of our BCA contractors over the weekend, and have also sent a letter with our position on this vote and its possible ramifications, which we have attached here for your information, please click here to view the Union letter.

Please be assured that we are continuing to do whatever is necessary to protect the rights of the Union, and of the membership, and will update you again once we have further information on this evolving situation. We want you to know there are actions being taken by the Union, but we do not wish to discuss these in a public forum at this time.

Fraternally yours,

Jordan Streng
Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer
Boilermakers Lodge 359

September 2019 Newsletter


Below is an email that was received from Sarah O’Leary, who is a long time lawyer and representative for both workers and unions. I asked her if we could publish the email which succinctly sums up the state of affairs that we are facing in an even broader picture today. That the employers think that they are the only ones capable of making good decisions, and if you don’t do what they want you to, it will all end in disaster…its bull**it.

Fraternally, Rob Kappel

Hi Folks:  You’ve probably heard that the Employer’s Forum has been kicking up a fuss about the government’s WCB review, conducted by Janet Patterson.  They have said that they are pulling out of the process.

 The Employer’s Forum has announced that Janet can’t provide an impartial review because in 2009 she did a paper, together with Stan Guenther, and me, for the BC Fed.  This paper, Insult to Injury, assessed the impact on workers of the Liberals’ changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act in 2002/03.

 Now for those of you who may not be as long in the tooth as some of us, let me give you a brief history.

 In 1996, the NDP government of the day established a Royal Commission to study Workers’ Compensation.  The report of that commission was presented to the government in 1999.  Not long afterwards, the government changed when the Liberals were elected in 2001.  Nothing much ever came of the Royal Commission recommendations.

 The “Employer’s Coordinating Group,” a large group of activist employers (and many of the same people involved in the pull-out yesterday), retained Alan Winter from Harris and Company, a big downtown employer-side law firm, to present their submission to the commission.

 Mr. Winter was very well-placed, then, to provide his recommendations to the Liberal government when they took power in 2001.  Having provided the employers’ perspective on Workers’ Compensation reform to the Royal Commission, the Liberals thought he would be the perfect man to recommend a new Workers’ Compensation Act for them. The Winter Report was presented in March 2002 and subsequently mostly passed into law in 2002/03 with Bills 49 and 63.

 My point is this: the employer groups doth protest too much.  They got their leading employer-side lawyer to rewrite the Workers’ Compensation Act in 2002; that is the system we have in place today.  They had no qualms about whether it was a fair process for workers.

 But ask a lawyer who is NOT employer-side, and they yell and scream bloody murder.

 I have never understood why more employers do not have as their primary interest, the health and well-being of their employees. There are some that do.  But many of the big employers have been so used to having complete control, as they did during the Liberal tenure, that they are not prepared to even engage with a process of review if there is an appearance of concern for workers’ welfare.  It’s “my way or the highway” as far as these employer groups are concerned.

 Shame on them!  The protection and welfare of workers should be a shared concern to all in the realm of Workers’ Compensation. The fact that they aren’t willing to even engage in a fair and impartial review reflects exactly where they stand.  They aren’t interested in any revision of the WCB unless it is dictated entirely by their interests. Disgraceful.

 Sarah O’Leary

Apprenticeship and Trade Advancement

Horton CBI weld testing is continuing to take place at the Boilermaker Training Centre members are testing for the Pembina Spherical tanks in Prince Rupert. We have the weld procedure for anyone wishing to practice or review. Sheldon is available for anyone wishing to practice or upgrade.

Tank and Blueprint reading was held June 17th through June 21st at the Boilermaker Training Centre. The course covered Tank classification and Design, Tank Erection, proper procedures, tools and techniques to gain the correct alignment for fitting shell plates, floor plates and roof plates.

There will be a Forklift Certification course scheduled to be held October 23rd at the Boilermaker Training Centre Members will receive Forklift Operator Certification.

A combination Aerial boom and Scissor Lift course is scheduled to be held October 24th. Members will receive certification on both Scissor Lift and Aerial Boom Lift.

The latest Boilermaker Foundation class graduated from BCIT on Aug. 30th. The top student from the Foundation class is Adrian Santos. Adrian will receive $1000 for being the top student.

Industry Award of Excellence

As part of the Tripartite conference Joe Kiwior was awarded the Industry award of Excellence. The Trustees took the opportunity to acknowledge Joe for his commitment, dedication and support of apprenticeship training.  Chris Kiwior was there to except the award on behalf of Joe. Below Chris is pictured with Dustin and members of the National Training Trust Fund (NTTF).

Apprenticeship Awards Banquet

The 2019 Boilermaker Annual Apprentice Awards Banquet and Tripartite Conference was held this year in New Brunswick Aug. 12th through Aug. 16th. The 2019 top student that attended the tripartite conference and Apprentice Banquet was Dustin Cable. Dustin represented 359 as the top apprentice for 2019.

Lodge 359 Shop Update

BM&M: We are currently working with BM&M on establishing an Attendance Policy for the shop. There has been good communication between the union and the employer and we hope to have the policy agreed to and in place very soon.

IST Boiler: Is currently looking for B Pressure (or higher) Welder to start ASAP for approximately 3-4 weeks. The shop is located at 6425 River Rd in Delta and there will be an onsite weld test for the shop procedure.  If you are interested in the position, please call Glen Martel @ 604-952-1344.

Peerless: Unfortunately due to the decline in the lumber industry, Peerless had to lay off a significant portion of its members recently. It is important for those members who were laid off, that wish to stay on the shop recall list, that they maintain their dues in order to remain in good standing.

Peerless is holding a Poker Bike Run on September 14th. The route will include stops in Keremeos, Osoyoos and Penticton. Members who wish to participate must bring $20 to enter and meet at Peerless prior to 11 am. For further information regarding the bike run, contact Marty Robertson @ 250-859-2796.

Inter Kraft and Valmont: Current collective agreements for both shops expire at the end of December. Bargaining for these agreements will commence in the coming months. Requests for proposals from the members at the respective shops will be sent out prior to bargaining.

Allied Infrastructure and Related Construction Council (AIRCC)

In July 2018, British Columbia’s government signed an agreement called the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with a group called the Allied Infrastructure and Related Construction Council (AIRCC), which represents many of BC’s building trade unions and their members.

The agreement provides the Building Trade Unions with all provincially funded infrastructure work for the foreseeable future (under the Provincial NDP Government). A newly formed Crown Corporation called BC Benefits Infrastructure Inc. (BCIB), will act as the “signatory and employer entity” under the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA). AIRCC’s mandate is to provide the labour workforce for the construction of selected public sector infrastructure, delivered in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Community Benefits Agreement. The BCIB will act as a hiring hall for all workers involved in provincially-funded projects undertaken through the CBA.

This agreement requires any Contractor and their workers who are not affiliated with the building trades unions who wish to qualify for work, will have to accept BTU workers provided through BCIB. Infrastructure projects that are subject to the CBA will require employees on those projects to join specified trade unions.

The new NDP government claims that the CBA is intended to increase the use of apprentices, address existing and future skill deficiencies, to achieve a wage alignment with prevailing industry rates for all employees. To encourage priority hiring of individuals living in proximity to projects being built or developed with government funding and to increase hiring and training of Indigenous persons and women and youth around the province in construction and related allied trades.

The first infrastructure projects that will be subject to the CBA are the Pattullo Bridge Replacement Project and the Trans-Canada Highway 1 Kamloops to Alberta Border Four‐Laning Project. The CBA will apply to other projects, as agreed to between the Government of B.C. and the Allied Infrastructure and Related Construction Council of British Columbia (AIRCC).

To view the Community benefits Agreement between BC Infrastructure Benefits Inc. and Allied Infrastructure and Related Construction Council of British Columbia, click on the following link:

Dispatch Report

Long Term Projects

Site C Turbine and Generator currently has 15 Boilermakers on site between 2 shifts.  They will continue building the scroll case pieces in the shop they have set up on site.  No definitive date have been given as to when the installation of the scroll case will begin.

Site C Penstock currently has 51 Boilermakers on site between 2 shifts.  We are seeing small bump up orders coming in for this job.  The peak manpower number is not known at this time.  As the work scope increases they will continue hiring Boilermakers to meet those needs.

The Horton job in Prince Rupert currently has 59 Boilermakers on site.  The construction of the three spheres should take another 6 – 7 months approximately.  We would like to thank those members and travel cards that are working hard and doing quality work representing the Boilermakers.

Horton is performing the civil work in regards to the tanks in Richmond. There are 6 tanks starting late September on a 5 – 10s schedule for 30 Boilermakers.  There are 2 more tanks starting in January at YVR on a 5 – 10s schedule for 12 – 15 Boilermakers.


In regards to Shutdown work we should start seeing orders coming in late August early September and go through until early November.  Kamloops, Prince George, Castlegar, Port Mellon, Crofton, Covanta and Port Albernie are all set to have shutdowns this fall.  We do not have exact dates or manpower numbers as of yet.  The contractors are still working out the finer details with clients in regards to these issues.

Melloy has recently started bidding jobs in our province and will be going into Parkland, formerly Chevron.  They have a small crew of 2 right now for prep and will be increasing their numbers slowly.  The shutdown is scheduled for late January early February and should last 4 – 6 weeks.  This will be one of the biggest shutdowns that Parkland has ever had.


2019 Industry Award of Excellence

Our very own Joe Kiwior is being recognized by the Boilermakers National Training Trust Fund, the IBB and the BCA as he will receive the 2019 Industry Award of Excellence. This award is given to an individual who has been a strong supporter of apprenticeship training. Joe has played an integral part in developing Lodge 359 apprentices over the years as an instructor and Training Coordinator. He will be recognized at the 2019 Industry Tripartite being held in St. Andrews, New Brunswick in August.

Important Message From The Business Manager

On Tuesday July 30th, 2019, I received a telephone call from the BCA’s Director of Labor Relations Marty Albright, informing Lodge 359 that a discussion had taken place a day earlier with one of its main BCA contractors, CIMS Limited Partnership, who was now seeking parity with not just the recently imposed amendments on the CLRA Agreement by the Labour Relation Board, but parity with all Articles deemed by the employer to be more beneficial than the BCA Agreement. The discussion that took place revolved around the concept of Lodge 359 essentially enabling the remainder of its 2014-2020 BCA Collective Agreement to achieve this parity, otherwise this contractor would be serving notice to the parties (The Boilermakers Lodge 359 and the BCA of B.C.) of its intentions to leave the Boiler Contractors Association (BCA) and to join the Construction Labor Relations Association (CLRA) to represent them for the Boilermakers.

On the evening of July 30th, 2019 I received an enabling request (click here) from the BCA outlining the relief it was seeking on behalf of its contractor(s). From the position of Lodge 359 this request was out of touch with the intent of the “Article 26.01 Enabling Clause”, and that all articles advantageous to the employer of the BCA agreement be enabled (is this not bargaining?) for the entirety of the province of British Columbia. In our view this was not, and has never been, the intent of the terms in the Article “for a particular project”, and for a “specific geographical location.” See BCA Agreement Article 26.01 below:



Where a particular Article or Articles of this Collective Agreement is or are found to work a hardship for a particular project or specific geographical area, the terms and conditions of this agreement for that project or specific geographical area, may be modified by the mutual consent of the Union and the Boilermaker Contractors’ Association of B.C. when they deem it prudent. It is understood and agreed that where mutual agreement for such change cannot be achieved, the request shall not be subject to either grievance or arbitration.

The following day, I made a telephone call to the VP of Business Development of CIMS to learn more about why such a request (Demand/Threat?) was being sought. Through the conversation it had been explained to myself that this contractor found itself in an apparent hardship situation due to the recently imposed CLRA agreement and needed relief in order to compete in the same market. When I questioned CIMS to produce any proof that it had lost any form of work in the last 30 days since the recently imposed CLRA agreement, it was stated that going forward is where the concern was. They required an answer about the BCA enablement request ASAP by Lodge 359, which gave us a day to digest all this before their notice to leave the BCA of BC was to be given.

Immediately after the conclusion of the telephone call an email was sent to myself (click here) regarding CIMS notice to leave the BCA of BC, and they feel that will allow them to also sever their connection to the BCA-BM359 Collective Agreement at the end of its term in 2020 and begin a relationship with the CLRA for the Boilermakers, and what it deems to be a more advantageous agreement.

To bring the members up to speed, we have deemed the enablement request as being an attempt to force us into mirroring the CLRA agreement by threat and intimidation of having our biggest contractor leave the BCA and possibly have the remaining BCA of BC employers follow. We have decided that since these are major changes being sought, and that bargaining was to begin soon anyways, and the length of time that it took to get through the CLR bargaining, we have sent a notice to begin bargaining to the BCA of BC to begin this process (click here). It is apparent that the terms and conditions that are being sought are inevitably going to take some time to work through. The BCA responded that Lodge 359 is 5 months premature in its request to bargain, and that the BCA is prepared to continue mutually agreeable discussions on the topics it’s raised, through means of enabling (click here).

We kindly reminded the BCA that this membership opened its collective agreement once prior in the current agreement to assist its contractors, in what at that time was a down economy. We’ve since reinforced that at no time now, or prior to the expiration of the current collective agreement, will this Lodge do the same again, as the economy before us is anything but hurting. We have contractors that have secured work all over the Province at the current Collective Agreement rates and conditions, and to enable cuts to the Collective Agreement now makes the allocation of where those monies might end up ever so questionable. We are fortunately in a position now where the membership is privy to some of the obvious requests that will be sought in the upcoming round of bargaining with the BCA, which I feel potentially every member understood to be the case after the imposed CLRA agreement. In my opinion, it is a sad day when any contractor attempts to skirt around the collective bargaining processes and undermines the foundational relationship it has built over the years with its labour partner.

To ensure the markets in which we have built our livelihoods on, are going to continue to be built and maintained by highly trained and skilled Boilermakers, we have at times accepted reductions to our already negotiated terms and conditions.  To now have a principal contractor attempt to withdraw from its commitment to the enabled deal, after we have completed our part, is in my opinion just plain sad.

There are many questions that are currently unanswered at this point, and we are working through them and will keep the membership informed and updated as we get answers. Lodge 359 will continue fighting to ensure all contractors that have agreed to work under the terms of the BCA-BM359 Collective Agreement will continue to do so, whether they are currently a  member of the Boiler Contractor Association or not.


Boilermakers Lodge 359
Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer

Jordan Streng