Friday, January 30, 2009

BC worker avoids serious injury in scaffolding mishap

read full article: Canadian Occupational Health & Safety News
A contract worker sustained relatively minor injuries on the morning of January 16 in a dramatic near-miss incident involving high-power electrical lines in Prince George, British Columbia.

The worker, an employee of Prince George-based Chinook Scaffold Systems, was installing scaffolding around a pipe bridge belonging to Canfor Pulp Limited Partnership, says Canfor spokesman Rick Lewis. Around 11:20 am, he says, a portion of the scaffolding made contact with over-hanging 69 kilowatt power lines, causing an explosion and cutting off power to the surrounding industrial sites.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Fears of chemical spill spur province to take over B.C. mill

read full article: Globe and Mail
The mill is currently down to 37 unionized employees and 13 staff, owed three and five weeks' pay, respectively, according to Local 1092 of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada. The company also owes about $400,000 in electricity bills and another $300,000 in gas bills, the union said.

And Mr. White has seemingly walked away from the company, leaving the job of director to a person based in Slovenia, according to a local report.

Mr. White, also involved in Alberta and B.C.-based real estate ventures, could not be reached for comment Sunday, but he was not part of negotiations over the weekend, the union said.

“The guy has all these dreams,” said Carl Bernasky, Local 1092 president, “… and then he turns around and can't make payroll.”

Monday, January 12, 2009

2008 BCSC 1660 Allied Hydro Council v. Construction, Maintenance and Allied Workers Bargaining Council, Local 2300

read full text online (not pdf)
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA

In the matter of Section 2 of the Judicial Review Procedure Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 241,
and British Columbia Labour Relations Board Decision No. B235/2007

Citation:

Allied Hydro Council v. Construction, Maintenance and Allied Workers Bargaining Council, Local 2300,

2008 BCSC 1660

Date: 20081202
Docket: S078458
Registry: Vancouver

Between:

Allied Hydro Council

Petitioner

And

Construction, Maintenance and Allied Workers Bargaining Council, Local 2300,
British Columbia Provincial Council of Carpenters and the British Columbia Labour Relations Board

Respondents

Before: The Honourable Mr. Justice Pearlman

Reasons for Judgment

Friday, January 09, 2009

Madoff Exposure Spreads to Labor Union Pension Funds

read full article: CNBC.com
CNBC has learned that one union, the Carpenters local in Syracuse, N.Y., has lost the majority of the $100 million to $150 million it had in pension money because of its dealings with Madoff, people close to the matter said. The union's money manager, J.P. Jeanneret Associates of Syracuse, didn't return a telephone call for comment.

The Syracuse carpenters local isn't alone. Pat Morin, business manager of Empire State Carpenters Union, is sifting through the wreckage in his own portfolio, which at the end of June had around $800 million in assets under management. Morin says his fund has exposure to Madoff as well, largely the result of consolidation in union pension funds where locals like Syracuse had transferred money to his oversight.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Scaling the scaffolding slowdown

read full text: Alberta Construction Magazine
During the boom, the scaffolding sector struggled to supply industry with enough equipment and skilled workers.

In the years 2005 to 2008, Beaulieu says owners often needed to book scaffolding services at least a year in advance. Now, he says, three or four months´ notice might suffice.

The boom years in industrial, commercial, and institutional construction coincided with increased demand for safety, says Dean Dancy, western regional manager at Peri Formwork Systems Inc. The result is that scaffolding is now widely seen as part of safe access to work areas and is used more extensively than in the past.

Dancy says that Peri´s western business "has grown 45 to 50 per cent for each of the last three years." He expects a possible 10 per cent slowdown in 2009. He´s hopeful, however, that infrastructure construction will take up some of the slack should oilsands work fail to pick up steam again within about 18 months.

Layoffs began late last fall, but this spring could see an uptick in oilsands construction and scaffolding work.