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.