Letter from Vicky Waldron of the Construction Industry Rehabilitation Plan.
You may have seen the heartbreaking overdose numbers in the media and news recently. The opioid crisis has seen increasing numbers of overdoses year on year and now with the added impact of COVID 2020 was by far the most deadly year since the epidemic began. Sadly this year is expected to be even worse. Data from numerous sources including the BC Coroners office have identified that the construction industry is ‘disproportionately’ represented in the overdose deaths. Other studies have shown that construction workers are dying at a rate of 5-7 times higher than workers from other industries. Over the last 5 years with the organisation, I have spoken to many of you, and I can honestly say that there is not one person I have met that hasn’t been impacted either directly or indirectly, by the death of a construction worker due to overdose.
It is because of this that CIRP is undertaking a new pilot project aimed to get as many naloxone kits into the hands of as many construction workers and as many job sites as possible. We are in the first phase of this initiative which includes a number of trade schools. As part of this initiative we are training as many business managers and reps as we can on ‘overdose reversal’ (naloxone training). The training itself uses the ‘train the trainer’ model, so the idea is that the business managers and reps are then able to go out into industry and continue the training for their members and provide kits for everyone that is trained. CIRP is a registered naloxone site, and as such we can provide you with the kits and training supplies as needed.
We delivered our first training for 20 reps/managers this last month, and are now looking to book our next round of training. If you have anyone that is interested in receiving the training please let me know and we will set up a second training. We can generally accommodate 20 people per training session.
The tilt furnace job went to MBI and Refraco Quebec. Refraco Quebec is subbing the work to Refraco BC who will hire our members under the Standard Industrial Agreement. Starts around June 12 goes for a month. Tear out and castables. Probably Brokk Work.
The provincial government allows you to travel for work in the province. I have created a standard letter for our members to present to law enforcement when you are screened in a road side stop, or a government official if your travel is questioned. Currently the provincial order allows for law enforcement to confirm that the “driver” of the vehicle is authorized for travel. They are not allowed to keep records of your information unless they have determined you are not authorized to travel. Your driver’s license and a letter from the union should be enough to confirm that you are travelling for work, which is authorized by the Solicitor General Mike Farnsworth.
This is a quote from the BC Government Website
When stopped at a road check restricting non-essential travel, police will only have the authority to request:
a driver’s name, address and driver’s license
any available documentation regarding driver’s name and address (for example, secondary identification that confirms a driver’s residential address if recently moved)
the purpose of the driver’s travel (documentation regarding travel is not required)
Police cannot engage in arbitrary vehicle or street checks. Site-specific enforcement measures will be informed by ongoing discussions with stakeholders on limiting the impacts to the public and racialized communities. If police have reasonable grounds to believe that a person has travelled for a non-essential purpose, they can direct the traveler to turn around and leave the region. These measures will be limited to site-specific and authorized police operations on travel corridors between regions.
As you can see additional documentation is not required but if you request it the union will send you a text message or an email of a signed letter from the union “RE Essential Work and Travel” to have in your phone, like the one below…
Text Me at 778-847-2472 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to have the letter sent to you.
Some contractors/owners are requiring COVID 19 Rapid Testing to gain access to work on shutdowns. Counsel advises that this is something that may be required to get on site to work. You can obviously refuse to be subjected to the test but, that means the company or owner/client can deny you access to the job. However, if it is being made a requirement for the job, and you agree to the test, the company, in our opinion, has to do the screening on your first day indoctrination. Same as with site specific indoctrination, it amounts to doing work for the company. A requirement for that specific job.
COVID 19 testing on Camp Jobs is also happening. All those travelling in to LNG Canada in Kitimat are required to do a rapid covid test upon entering the project. JFJV Fluor has decided to implement a second covid test three days after you arrive in camp. They have been trying to unilaterally implement the testing during workers off time either After day shift or after night shift. The union objects to this. For the same reason. Mandatory testing as a requirement to stay on site is paid time in our opinion.
Whether you are on a camp job or a shut down, if you are required to take a covid 19 test please contact Geoff Higginson at 778-847-2472 or the Hall at 1-855-847-2472.
We have 4 new masks based on member surveys last month. These local 2 custom masks are three layers thick with a pocket to squeeze in an N-95 or P-100 mask. We are collecting a list of member preference and mailing these masks out with the newsletter in May. If you haven’t already listed your preference on the face book page for TTTA please send an email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org with your preference. One each until all members have them.
We also have available the International face masks and neck gaiters which we will give out while supplies last, one of each for every member interested. See the photos below for the masks and their “number”.
If you have symptoms and/or have tested positive for COVID 19 in an Alberta Camp job and are forced to self isolate you may be eligible for WorkSafe Alberta claim for lost wages if the infection occurred on the job. Local 1 AB, Business Manager and financial Secretary Alan Ramsay should be contacted. Local 1AB has a workplace advocate, Mr. Bob Iskiw, who will be taking up the case for COVID 19 wage loss claims for members working under the 1AB collective agreement. Local 1AB can be contacted at 1-780-426-7545.
In BC if at an industrial camp the contractor has to provide daily wages if you are self isolating. Contact Geoff Higginson at 778-847-2472 or the Hall at 1-855-584-2021.
If you are returning from Alberta and intend to accept work on a BC job, please, monitor yourself for symptoms and use the BC Government online symptom checker (click here) to determine whether or not you should get a covid 19 test. Don’t take a chance at bringing the virus to a shutdown in BC…everyone will suffer if we get a job shut down.
Please get to your hospital emergency room if you start having difficulty breathing. Don’t take any chances brothers and sisters.