|Members demand democratic right to decide their own structure
McCarron threatens to merge Island Locals
The fight has begun. On December 7, 1999, a faxed letter from General President Douglas McCarron announced his latest attack on the BC membership. The letter, sent to Vancouver Island locals, proclaimed the dissolving of three locals and the transferring of their books, assets etc. to three other Island locals. Transferring locals without membership approval was rejected by the BC membership in a recent referendum.
The situation on Vancouver Island, described above, parallels that of Northern British Columbia where two construction locals, Dawson Creek Local 1237 and Prince George Local 1998 entered into negotiations with each other to merge their locals. They agreed on a document and their respective memberships voted on the merger. A strong majority in each local voted for merger. The locals then applied to the International to get "the blessing."
School Board Round Up
None of the BC Provincial Council of Carpenters members polled can remember ever hearing of a member being expelled from the Brotherhood for any reason, least of all for being involved in a mass action. Yet last month, a hand-picked UBC trial committee of two Americans and one Canadian ruled that John Reimann of Hayward CA Carpenters Local 713 should be drummed out of the organization because he led a short wildcat strike of union members centred around the San Francisco Airport project last May.
Reimann, charged by GEB member and McCarron supporter Mike Draper with not being "obedient to authority", was found guilty of encouraging members to express their dissatisfaction with an inferior four-year contract extension being rammed down their throats without a ratification vote. The unanimous verdict, signed by Americans Gerry Nannenga and Dennis Donahou and by Canadian Martyn Piper, the appointed Executive Secretary Treasurer of the Alberta Regional Council, indicates that "no strike" clauses acclaimed even without direct membership approval are more important than a member's democratic rights to "freedom of speech, association and assembly."
While recognizing that "divergent views are the lifeblood of the labour movement," and admitting that "it must never be the role of the Union to stifle ideas..." and pretending that denying membership to an existing member "is a somber occasion and is by no means entered into lightly for the sheer purpose of exercising power," the International reps decided that "Mr. Reimann's actions are not constitutionally protected" and he should be given the boot.
Testimony, much of which was hearsay, by several paid union functionaries at Reimann's trial indicated he helped organize the demonstration by some 2000 building trades workers who walked off the job to protest an employer friendly contract negotiated during a massive construction boom. Reimann is accused of speaking to workers from the back of a pickup truck, helping organize picket lists and sites, applying for a city demonstration permit that was subsequently denied, and publishing "certain documents" on the internet (purported to be encouraging the strike). Denials by Reimann's witnesses were dismissed out of hand with no explanation.
But the most damning accusation may be that Reimann refused to name names to the trial committee. In a statement that could have been lifted directly from infamous Senator Joseph McCarthy, the committee said Reimann's "failure to provide this relevant information (about the group called Working Carpenters for a Stronger Union) weighs heavily against him in this matter." Working Carpenters maintains a newsletter on the internet and is the Northern California group of Carpenters credited with spearheading the struggle for a democratic union in that state. Reimann said he refused to name members because Mr. Draper would use the information to "get" other people. Reimann said he is the victim of a conspiracy by the General Office to stifle all debate about the "disastrous policies that are dragging our union down and down and down."
What the top leadership is trying to do, says Reimann, is turn our union into an employment agency. "They want to simply be the middle-man between us and the contractors and have control over the sale of our skills as carpenters," he said. "In order to do this, they have to be able to guarantee the smooth and steady flow of our labour (as well as have near-monopoly control over it). along with this, they have to maintain 'good relations' with the contractors (If these good relations come at the expense of our working conditions and wages, well, that's just too bad for us)."
BC Provincial Council president Len Embree told Reimann, "It is obvious to us in British Columbia that the memberships in both of our areas are involved in a struggle for the very basic membership democracy." He concluded, "It is indeed ironic that while your members are fighting to restore their right to vote, we are fighting to retain that right. In some ways, your struggle and experience give us greater inspiration to maintain our democratic rights."
A petition and donations and messages of support for Reimann are being organized by Working Carpenters for a Stronger Union at : PMB 258, 20885 Redwood Road, Castro Valley, CA, 94546-5015. Phone (510) 496-3458. Their newsletter can be viewed at: http://members.tripod.com/ubcvote/fallnews/fallnew01.htm or donations can be sent to the "Campaign to Defend John Reimann" PMB #421, 484 Lake Park Ave. Oakland, CA 94610.
Serious discontent in the union says Reimann
Speaking to carpenters at several meetings around British Columbia in November, Reimann asserted that the trend to signing Project Labour Agreements, especially without membership ratification, is turning the union into a mere employment agency. He claimed that all PLAs have non-union working on them.
"The best PLA is a strong and united membership," he declared. "We must organize the non-union from below and we can only get that with enthusiastic participation of our own members." He said we will not get membership participation in organizing if they feel the leadership "is selling them down the river." "The policy of keeping the contractors happy is not working and can never work," he avowed.
Expelled member promotes links
Expelled member says brief trip to BC informative and educational
I think that what happened just a few days after my visit -- the mass protests in Seattle over WTO - perfectly illustrate what is wrong not only with our political setup, but also with the direction of our labor movement. the WTO is aimed at maximizing profits by increasing the competition between workers of different countries for who can work cheapest, who can offer the lowers tax rates (to the corporations), who will limit corporate polluting the least. In short, who will allow the corporations to rape, loot and plunder to their hearts' (or rather their bank accounts') content.
Unfortunately, too many of our labor leaders (McCarron included) have bought into this scenario and are signing their members up for this "race to the bottom," all in order to "keep jobs."
I look forward to members here in California linking up with you brothers and sisters in British Columbia to launch a campaign to reverse this direction.
Spotlight on organizing by Josh Coles, provincial organizer
Strike and Boycott information can be found at:
Support BC families
|Confident members will meet the many challenges in the new millennium
Members committed to trade union principles
our differences have historically been our strength
PRESIDENTS CORNER by Len Embree
|Another year of fun and frolic! One thing the year-end always produces is the opportunity to look back with perfect hindsight in evaluating our performance. We probably should have done some things differently and in future we probably will. Be that as it may, a bit of a synopsis of the past year is in order.
After numerous statements about following the laws of BC, one of the latest fiascos perpetrated by the International has them transferring school board members from Local Union 1237 Dawson Creek into Local Union 2397 Fort St. John in defiance of an LRB order. When challenged by the Provincial Council, their response was, administrative error. Some performance, especially by a party that feels entitled to talk about scruples.
It remains fairly obvious that any dealings we might have with the General Office will be suspect from now on.
Despite the ruling from the Labour Relations Board that halted the forced merger of some Dawson Creek Local 1237 school board members into Fort St. John Local 2397, General President McCarron has gone ahead and decreed mergers on Vancouver Island, effective in the New Year. This is against the express wishes of the membership who decided in a province-wide referendum that no mergers should go ahead without the consent of the Local members in a democratic vote (see story on page one). The Provincial Council is appealing both these actions to the Labour Relations Board and expects a ruling very soon.
The Negotiating Committee continues to meet with CLRA. It is our intention to conclude a collective agreement as soon as possible. This may be problematic with the voting structure of the Bargaining Council; nonetheless, we are committed to carry through bargaining to its obvious conclusion.
The Industrial Local Unions Conference, held October 15-17, had increased participation this time. It was a very worthwhile conference with instructional workshops for the participants and a general session on the final morning. Workshops, presented by Capilano College, dealt with Labour Relations Law and Health & Safety Regulations.
Unfortunately, Brother Flynn and I were tied up in LRB meetings related to the International and were unable to participate fully. Hopefully, this will not be the case next year.
Having had the opportunity to visit most of the Local Unions during the year, it was quite obvious to me that our members are well informed about most of the issues facing the organization. Some credit for this, I feel, should go to the Education Committee. We need to do more in this area, but the committee is doing good, positive work.
At the halfway mark of my term, I have to say how impressed I have been by the commitment of our members to their trade union principles. I recollect the General Executive Board Member for the Tenth District, in one of his many missives, asking the question, Do British Columbia members think theyre different? Yes, I think we do. And I see absolutely nothing wrong with that attitude. It seems to me that our differences, right across our country, historically have been our strength. It has allowed us to develop different strategies to meet our different problems. Only a fool would suggest that we are all the same or that one solution can be applied to all problems.
I remain confident in our union in BC and in our membership to meet the many challenges upcoming in the new millennium.
On behalf of the Council, I would like to express our solidarity to all our members and their families and to thank them for their support. We look forward to that same solidarity and support in the coming year.
The School of the Americas
Thousands protest military school linked to torture and murder
by John Voykin
In November, I stood with over 12,000 other people outside the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia, calling for the closure of the School of the Americas. We held vigil for all the nameless, voiceless people killed in Latin Americamany of them by graduates of the infamous military training school.
The School of the Americas, started 40 years ago in Panama to train Latin American military personnel, moved to Georgia in 1984. Graduates of the school have been linked to a long history of human rights abuses and atrocities in their own countries.
This protest marked the tenth anniversary of the 1989 murder of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her 15-year-old daughter in El Salvador. Nineteen of the 26 soldiers indentified as the killers were graduates of the school.
More well known graduates of the school include: Panamanian dictator Luckovich, Manuel Noriega and Roberto DAubuisson, who planned and ordered the assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero in 1980.
The US government and military swear they are training people in American values of democracy and human rights, yet the countries with the worst human rights records in the Western World have sent the most people to the SOA. Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children have been raped, beaten and killed. Most evidence points directly to the SOA.
The crowd was amazing: Church groups, Veterans for Peace, students from Universities and highschools, peace activists from everywhere, Buddist monks who walked 104 miles from Atlanta, First Nations and Labour organizations from throughout North America were represented.
The vigil continued on Sunday morning as more than 4000 people, myself included, crossed onto the base in a large funeral procession as many called out the names of people killed by the military. After each name was called, the crowd would call out Presente and lift wooden crosses up in front of them.
It was a very powerful weekend in my life for I had to forget about myself and be present for others who could no longer speak for themselves.
My most sincere thanks to Brother and Sister carpenters, the Union of Spiritual Communites of Christ, my new-found friends in Spokane Washington, for opening their home for me to sleep. To Paddy Inman, Ken Little, Bud, Sandy and Jack (my travelling companions) and everyone who supported me both financially and in their kind words and prayers. Peace and love be with you.
All the best in the New Year.
John Voykin Local 2300
Labor Unions that say "Close the School of the Americas"
Contractors move off position of hard cuts to agreement
|After nearly 40,000 union members, students, community activists, farmers, religious leaders and environmentalists marched together in unity in the streets of Seattle, the Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 meeting of the World Trade Organization ended in disarray. Trade ministers and heads of state were unable to achieve any agreements, or even issue a final statement. The breakdown reflects the first step in a serious coming to terms with pivotal issuesaccountability, democratic procedures, worker and human rights and the environmentthat protesters highlighted all week, said AFL-CIO president John Sweeney. It signals the beginning of a new era that recognizes the urgent need to construct a trading system that can face the challenges of the 21st Century.
While the newspaper headlines and television coverage concentrated on the violence of a few, the vast majority of the marchers were there to make a peaceful point: WTO is not good for working families.
Forty busloads of protesters went from British Columbia to join the massive march. Participants from around the world, as far away as China, Japan and India, demanded the restoration and renewal of a civil society where human rights stand for more than corporate demands for unbridled profits.
Sweeney said he regretted that a few violent people had given the protesters a bad name. We must not let the negative actions of a few overshadow the accomplishments of more than 30,000 positive and peaceful protesters, Sweeney said.
In a demonstration of solidarity not often reported, the Longshore and Warehouse Union shut down the Port of Seattle and dozens of ports along the West Coast.
|Carpenters were very much in evidence at the rally and march on November 30. Locals from around the area sent delegations and signs were spotted from Locals 131 Seattle, 247 Portland, 360 South Sound Residential, 1144 Seattle, 1532 Mount Vernon, 1797 Renton, 1995 Vancouver, 2205 Wenatchee, and 2396 Seattle Piledrivers. The BC Provincial Council of carpenters and the Vancouver and Nanaimo-Duncan Labour Councils were also very evident.
The World Trade Organization , a global body which puts corporate interests before human rights, environmental sustainability, labour security, public education, healthcare, democracy, and sovereignty, is the successor body to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
WTO rules protect the rights of global corporations to make profits but provide no protection for citizens, workers, communities or the environment. When profits are threatened in trade disputes, the WTO issues rulings and enforces them with sanctions and penalties. The WTO provides no similar sanctions when human rights, labour standards or the environment are at risk.
What has the WTO cost us so far?
The WTO is forcing Canada to abandon many of the policies that have given Canada the highest quality of life in the world. So far, the WTO has ordered Canada to:
Abandon the auto pact, the historic trade pact on which we have built a productive and competitive manufacturing sector.
Start dismantling our agricultural supply management system which would force Canada to allow the import of food that does not meet Canadian food safety standards.
Scale back supports for research and development in Canadas high technology sectors.
Gut our efforts to promote and preserve our unique cultural institutions.
The WTO wants new rules to give for-profit companies free access to our health care and education systems. In Canada, that would undermine Medicare and quality public education. Canada would be forced to allow for-profit global corporations into our hospitals and schools. A current US challenge under WTO rules would further limit Canadians access to affordable generic drugs. Another issue on the near-future bargaining table is restrictions on our ability to protect our water supply from foreign control.
The WTO represents the same failed approach to globalization that the Liberals tried to impose on Canadians with the MAI. As the successful campaign against the MAI showed, challenging the current direction of globalization requires the co-operation of citizens, progressive groups and elected leaders.
|Skytrain caisson dwarfs piledriver
John Rilkoff stands inside 8 diameter caisson for the Rapid Transit extension in New Westminster. Van Pile, Petrifond and Agra Foundation are using drilling equipment new to this area to sink the huge drilled piles for the first three milestones of the ALRT project. This is the largest project currently underway in the province.
WCB backs mould research
Local 1995 Carpenters recognized at awards ceremony
Twelve new research and training projects that will help to increase and improve the capacity to reduce workplace injuries and disease were announced by Workers Compensation Board Prevention vice-president Roberta Ellis at the WCBs eighth annual Grants and Awards program celebration in December.
Finding Solutions to Workplace Injury and Disease, the WCBs grant program, provides financial assistance to support early identification and prevention of workplace risks, research methods for reducing risks, evaluation of post-injury rehabilitation strategies, and promotion of effective education on health and safety risks.
Finding Solutions awarded a total of $609,267 to a cross-section of employers, unions and academic researchers to investigate the causes and factors contributing to occupational injury and disease, and to provide solutions to help rehabilitate workers.
Two of the projects focus on indoor air quality, including a study by the Carpenters Union to analyze the health risks and provide recommendations to protect construction workers working in restoring mould infested buildings caused by water penetration. The second will create test standards for measuring indoor air pollution in workplace environments such as schools.
A large number of buildings in BCs Lower Mainland have suffered water penetration in wall cavities and other parts. This has led to extensive mould growth and exposure of workers to biologically active fungi and moulds.
In the Carpenters study, workers exposure to inhaled fungi and dust and their respiratory health will be measured. Control measures and personal protective equipment capable of limiting exposures will be recommended.
The study, being conducted by the University of British Columbia, will cost the WCB just over $50,000.
We expect that the data generated by this research will be instrumental in reducing the risk of workplace exposure to toxic microbial substances, said Vancouver carpenter Bill Duncan when accepting the award.
With the passing of Bill 14, the Workers Compensation (Occupational Health & Safety) Amendment Act, the board now has the jurisdictional power to set work place standards where biological, chemical or physical agents pose threats to a workers health, said Duncan.
He pointed out that there is a great demand for training in mould remediation around the province.
The union has already begun to deliver the first of our worker focused mould remediation courses, said Duncan. We want to insure that the risk of workplace exposure to toxic microbial substances is neutralized.
Ellis told the ceremony participants that, We must continue to learn more about why and how workers are being injured or exposed to disease on the job. In the 10-year period from 1989 to 1998, work related accidents and disease claimed the lives of 1,482 workers. Death on the job due to accident or disease is devastating to families, friends, communities and co-workers. Equally tragic is that almost all of these accidents could be prevented.
Other projects funded cover a variety of safety, prevention and return to work issues ranging from musculoskeletal injuries (sprains, strains and repetitive injury) to emergency drill procedures for fishers, to critical incident and post-traumatic stress disorders, to prevention of sexual assaults and harassment, to the health hazards of special effects in the entertainment industries.
Lost Lives: Work-related deaths in BC
Study shows too many make the ultimate sacrifice at work
The WCB has released a 10-year study of work related deaths in British Columbia to increase awareness of the reality of deaths on the job and to encourage action to eliminate workplace deaths. Besides some revealing interviews with surviving spouses and family members, the report outlines the statistics of hazards facing workers daily as they work to earn their livings.
The summary discloses that in the 10-year period from 1989 to 1998, work related accidents and disease claimed the lives of 1,482 workers; an average of 148 people each year (19 of them working in construction annually).
The death rate was highest in the Charter Air Services industry where the rate for the 10-year period was 21.5 deaths per 10,000 person years of employment followed by logging at 9.3 deaths, compared to an all-industry average of 1.04. Road Building and Related, and Building Construction, were sixth and seventh at 3.3 and 2.5 respectively.
In real numbers of real people, this represents 252 workers killed in logging, 126 in trucking, 104 in building construction, 94 in heavy manufacturing, 86 in road building and related, 59 in fishing, 53 in mining (not coal), 49 in charter air services, 45 at sawmills, and 41 in farming over a 10-year period.
Falls kill more than 10 workers annually.
In the 10-year study period, there were 104 fatal falls from elevations accounting for more than nine per cent of all single-incident deaths in BC. Workers who died as a result of a fall worked in a variety of occupations including roofers, construction workers, firefighters, window cleaners, and farmers.
The most common falling accidents were: falls from a building (21%), falls from a ladder or stairs (13%), falls due to a structural collapse or failure (8%), falls from a scaffolding or platform (8%), falls from a vehicle (7%) and falls from a floor or roof opening (4%).
Work-related diseases claimed the lives of 379 people between 1989 and 1998, representing 26 per cent of all work-related deaths in the province. Asbestos exposure accounted for 52 per cent of these deaths. It is estimated that building construction workers compose 70 per cent of all workers exposed to asbestos and at risk of developing asbestos related disease.
BC Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair said the report makes a significant impact. The statistics and stories presented in this report paint a grave picture of the thousands of workers and families who have suffered the devastating emotional and economic hardships of a workplace death, he said. Worse still, we know these statistics do not tell the whole story.
Any workplace death is tragic and we must never forget that every one of these numbers represents a lost life and a grieving family, said WCB Prevention vice-president Roberta Ellis. Equally tragic is the fact that workplace deaths are preventable. Work-related deaths can happen to anyone. It doesnt matter whether you are a farmer, a nurse, an electrician or a salespersonno one is immune.
Canadian Brickies apply for successorship rights in Ontario
by Doug McCorquodale
The Canadian Bricklayers are back at the Ontario Labour Relations board to deal with decisions rendered last summer when the Bricklayers International tried to impose a trusteeship on its Ontario members. In those decisions the Ontario board found that the International acted without constitutional authority in revoking Ontario local charters. In addition the Board found that the International did not act reasonably and therefore did not have just cause to revoke the charters. Since the International breached the Ontario Labour Relations Act, the Ontario Bricklayers are applying as the Canadian Bricklayers union to be the successors of the locals previously affiliated to the International.
The conflict between the Ontario Bricklayers and their International led to the creation of a new union, the Bricklayers and Allied Craft Union of Canada. The Ontario Board described the dispute as the story of two different approaches to trade unionism and the desire by some for Canadian autonomy.
The Canadian Autoworkers Union (CAW) applied for intervener status on this matter. CAW supported the right of International unions in Canada breaking away from their American parent union, stating:
The issues on which the Board must decide are of vital importance to the bricklayers of Ontario and to unionized workers in general. The right of union members to democratically control their union is fundamental to the health of the labour movement and the continuance of the collective bargaining regime. The ability of Canadian workers to form unions that are independent from their American parent must be recognized as a legitimate and workable optionespecially when the relationship between the American headquarters and its members in Canada has irrevocably broken down...
The Ontario Labour Relations Act has good law that says an International American parent union cannot put a Canadian subordinate union under trusteeship without just cause.
Need help with Alcohol, Drug or Family Problems?
The Construction Industry Rehabilitation Plan is set up to assist you with any problems you may be experiencing with alcohol and other drugs, family or spousal conflicts, emotional dilemmas or any other areas of need.
Confidentiality is guaranteed. In no case will your name or circumstance be made public.
In most situations we can offer full or partial financial assistance.
We at the PLAN are here for you and your familyConfidential and Caring.
If you are experiencing any problems in any area, please:
Call the Plan Our number is 521-8611
toll free 1-888-521-8611
|Creekside built union, built right
Creekside at Silver Star, a condominium housing project union built by Concert Properties (formerly Greystone) situated next to the Silver Queen Chair on Silver Star Mountain near Vernon is ready for occupancy. Phase One, consisting of 52 units in two buildings is selling well according to local Concert representative Laura Gosset. The project, with its ski-in/ski-out capacity, is a superbly designed, high quality resort condominium built by union carpenters from the Okanagan, she says.
The stylish units, freehold strata title condominiums with no restricted use, range from studio apartments to two bedroom, two bath suites complete with kitchen appliances and natural gas fireplaces and are valued from $79,900 to $175,900. Owners can opt for a complete, ready-to-move-into furniture package if they wish. Creekside also offers a care-free rental management service if owners wish to rent the suite.
The superior construction and stringent standards of home building set by Concert ensure a lasting investment. Over the past ten years, Concert has become recognized as one of the leading residential and commercial development companies in British Columbia, synonymous with superior standards, customer service and community valuesall built union.
Creekside, while next to a night lit chair lift, is also close to the village, the skating rink, and the tube park. When the snow is gone, trees and flowers bloom, and hiking, biking, riding, canoeing and climbing make Silver Star a family getaway. Festivals, shows, rallies and races entertain the summer visitor as well as BeerFest in the fall.
Vernon Local 1346 BA Tony Heisterkamp says more than 40 local carpenters worked to complete the project on time and on budget and that his members look forward to working on the next two phases that will see a further 104 units completed, possibly next year.
Vernon carpenters also look forward to winning work on the $10 million performing arts centre and $15 million arena approved in the November municipal referendum as well as the rumoured hotel work that may start at Silver Star soon, according to Heisterkamp.
Labelling plant votes to stay union
Union beats decert attempt
A solid majority of Carpenters Union members working in a glass labelling plant in Vernon have verified their faith in the union by turning down a decertification attempt, says Vernon Local 1346 business representative Tony Heisterkamp.
Over 62 percent of the workers at Univeral Specialties voted to stay with the union after a concerted campaign by a few unhappy plant workers, said Heisterkamp.
Plant management has been unco-operative with the union, and particularly Heisterkamp, since the Local won certification in May of 1998, refusing him access to the plant site. Universal is the only union glass labelling plant in the country.
We filed some unfair labour practice complaints with the Labour Board that will be heard in mid-January, said Heisterkamp, and after that we can deal with tearing down the roadblocks to winning the hearts and minds of those in the plant who are not familiar with the union movement and how it can best serve their interests.
There are a number of outstanding grievances Heisterkamp is anxious to deal with that have been hanging fire since the vote was taken and ballot boxes sealed on August 24, 1999.
After the hearing (on the unfairs) we can get down to business on these long outstanding grievances, he said.
Millwrights offer trades upgrading
Millwrights Local 2736 is continuing its program of offering state-of-the-art upgrading training for its members with the newest equipment and top-notch instructors.
Daniel Gidora has replaced the recently retired Paul Dugas as instructor. Gidora has a degree from BCIT in Survey Technology as well as an Interprovincial Industrial Mechanic certificate. Gidora has developed training manuals and assembled the latest advanced equipment for two new courses.
The Local sponsored eight 40-hour courses in Rotalign Pro Laser Shaft Alignment in six different communities around the province last year. The course accommodates a maximum of six students and uses the very latest technology available.
The Local purchased a $28,000 computerized Rotalign Pro alignment machine from Hyatt Industries at the end of 1998 for effective hands-on training. They continue to offer training on the older but more established Optalign laser alignment equipment as well as conventional methods of shaft alignment using dial gauges etc.
The introductory course in mechanical surveying has been changed from a basic construction survey course to one dealing specifically with layout and alignment in the mechanical construction sector. Equipment, methods and procedures used in mechanical surveying are covered using mockup machinery to create relevant job training. Participants use the Locals own survey equipment along with some that Commonwealth Construction has generously loaned for the course. The course has been lengthened from one week to two weeks.
A course in development for this year will cover blueprint reading and trade math, important background for all apprentices and journeypersons.
Gidora says the training program has been enthusiastically received by the membership. The courses have been well attended and feedback has been positive. He thanks some companies for their assistance in putting on the courses, especially I.I.C. in Prince George and MacIntosh & Norman in Powell River.
|Millwrights at Rotalign course at MillPile hall in Surrey, from left: Tom Ridley, John Hammond, Norm Schymon, Patts Julien, Dan Gidora and Kurt Freiburghaus|
Labour movement builder passes
Eldon T. (Al) Staley
1917 - 1999
Al, to all who knew him, was a dynamic individual. His service to the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and his impact on the labour movement throughout British Columbia will long be remembered.
Born in Witchurch Township, Ontario, in 1917, Al Staley started his carpentry apprenticeship with Frank Deach in Siloam, Ontario, in 1936. After discharge from the Midland Regiment of the Canadian Army in 1945, he moved to Victoria on Labour Day 1946 and joined Local 1598 on October 21 of that year. He quickly became involved in Local affairs, accepting the position of financial secretary in 1948.
In 1950 he was elected president of the Vancouver Island District Council of Carpenters and in 1951 became the first full-time secretary treasurer of the BC Provincial Council of Carpenters.
He was a founding member of the Victoria Trades and Labour Credit Union and the Victoria Building Co-operative Union, serving on both Boards of Directors for 40 years and retiring as president.
In 1961 Staley was appointed a General Representative for the Brotherhood and in 1971 became the General Executive Board member for Western Canada, a position he held until his retirement in 1977.
Brother Staley served as president of the BC Federation of Labour from 1964 to 1970 and as a vice-president of the Canadian Labour Congress from 1966 to 1977.
According to CLC president Ken Georgetti, Brother Staley was a builder of the very foundations that have made the British Columbian Labour movement the powerful and credible organization it is today.
Even in his retirement as GEB member Al took on a new challenge to be the first umpire for the newly formed Jurisdictional Assignment Plan of BC. He stepped down from that position in July, 1979.
Brother Staley was a tireless champion for workers and he will be missed, said Local 1598 business manager Wayne Cox.
Brother Staley is survived by loving wife, Jennie, daughter Maureen, and granddaughters Martina and Linea.
Popular activist gone
Edward Cecil Brooke
1941 - 1999
Local 1735 Prince Rupert members will remember Ed Brooke as always racing against time to get the job done. He died in December after a short illness.
Ed was a carpenter, a draftsman, a logger, a fisherman, a teacher, a husband (several times), a father (at least 10 times), and a grandfather (twice) who used his many tal-ents to help his fellows and to try to create a better world for all.
He built boats and rowed some of them, studied and replicated Victorian architecture, dabbled in archeology, anthropology, furniture and wine making, restoring historical buildings and antiques, model railroading, playing classical music, teaching navigation and advocating for the less fortunate.
Ed served the Local as a business agent for a short time and was the North Wests representative on the Carpentry Apprenticeship and Training Committee.
Ed Brooke went North from Nanaimo twenty some years ago, mostly to fish, but joined Local 1735 in 1989 and immediately became involved in Local affairs, serving as area steward and financial secretary before his short stint as BA. He was also a staunch defender of Canadas claims to the Northern Boundary with the US and served on the auxiliary coast guard. He was active in the Masons and an energetic contributor to local parish life. He claimed a personal acquaintance with left-wing activist Angela Davis.
His ten children, Guy, Cynthia, Deirdre, Julian, Leif, Eva, Jules, Erik, Olava and Ingrid, and wife Pat and granddaughters Erin and Kathlyn were all with him at his passing and will miss his compassion and good humour, as we know many others will.
ON THE LEVEL is dedicated to representing Carpenter's Union member's views and reporting on social issues of interest to working people in British Columbia.
ON THE LEVEL, the newspaper for Carpenters in British Columbia, is owned and operated by ON THE LEVEL PUBLISHERS LTD., which maintains editorial offices at #304-2806 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5R 5T5, telephone (604) 430-8140. Fax 437-1110. It is printed at Broadway Printers, Vancouver. Annual subscription fee $10.00 in Canada, US $10.00 in the USA. Active members pay $9.60 per year through their Carpenter's Union dues.
Editor: Ray Tickson.
ON THE LEVEL is a member publication of the Canadian Assoc. of Labour Media (CALM) and the International Labor Communications Association (ILCA)
posted on the internet at www.carpentersunionbc.com
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