LIUNA and IUOE Ontario locals sign mutual co-operation agreeement

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liuna membership meeting
Members at the LIUNA members' meeting in January (LIUNA Facebook photo)

International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 973 and Labourers’ International Union of North America (LIIUNA) Local 183 have signed a wide-ranging and historic agreement that paves the way for greater co-operation on a number of issues between the labour organizations.

The 2017 Mutual Co-operation Agreement was signed at a ceremony in Toronto on Jan. 27 by Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher and Local 183 business manager Jack Oliveira. The agreement will run until Nov. 30, 2018, but can be extended at the discretion of the business managers.

Local 183 and Local 793 have had a long and co-operative relationship, the unions said in a news release. Both unions are members of the Ontario Formwork Council, and have other collective agreements in common. “Over the past few years we have been fighting each other rather than working collaboratively,” Oliveira said. “I am happy that we were able to put that behind us, and that we are moving forward to level the playing field. This level of co-operation will be good for our members, and for members of Local 793.”

The two unions have agreed to greater co-operation in the sewer and watermain, roads and heavy engineering sectors, as well as utilities work, in the Greater Toronto area, parts of South Central Ontario and parts of Eastern Ontario. The unions have committed to assist each other in organizing and collective agreement enforcement. The deal also provides a framework for resolving outstanding jurisdictional disputes, and moving forward with greater solidarity.

“I am pleased that we have signed this agreement and confirmed the friendship that we have enjoyed for more than 50 years,” said  Gallagher from Local 793. “My father was the founder and first business manager of Local 183. He would be proud that the two unions are working together on issues important to our members and concentrating our resources on bringing the benefits of unionization to unrepresented workers rather than spending resources fighting each other at the Labour Relations Board.”

IUOE local 793  represents nearly 15,000 crane and heavy equipment operators across Ontario. The union has a head office, banquet hall and training campus in Oakville, and another training campus in Morrisburg.

Local 183 is the largest construction local in North America with more than 50,000 members. It has both offices and training centres in Toronto, Barrie, Kingston and Cobourg (with a new facility forthcoming in Cambridge). The union represents workers in all aspects of the construction industry, including residential, sewer and watermain, bridge building, road construction, pipelines, railroads and the utilities sector. The local also represents healthcare, sanitation, and industrial workers across the GTA.

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