A Look Back at 2022, and Forward to the New Year

We starting 2022 still drying out from devastating floods in the Fraser Valley and IBEW 213 welcomed new members at Plan Group working on the enormous new St. Paul's Hospital project in Vancouver.

In March we recognized International Women's Day with a special focus on Women's Health and Safety in the Workplace. March also saw the federal Liberals and NDP announced a Confidence and Supply Agreement that would potentially keep the minority Liberals in power until 2025. In exchange, the NDP made a few demands include a national dental care program (which has now begun to roll out) and changes to the federal labour code around scab workers -- an initiative near-and-dear to IBEW 213, and would continue to be a theme throughout the year.

After being postponed because the ongoing pandemic, the 40th IBEW International Convention went ahead in May in Chicago, Illinois. Convention brought forward resolutions on implementing gender-neutral language, expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion; and addressing bullying, harassment and discrimination. We were very proud when our own IBEW 213 Sister Becky Lupton brought and spoke passionately from the convention floor in favour of and inclusive change to our union's name.

In 2022 we were so excited to be able to welcome back members to in-person family events, with our Family Fun BBQ returning to our Port Coquitlam campus, members' picnic in the Okanagan, the return of our autumn Annual Training Conference, and a series of winter holiday events in the Lower Mainland, Okanagan, Kootenays and Vancouver Island. Watch for more, bigger and better, in 2023.

We went into the fall with our strike at Ledcor entering its fourth year, and we continued our fight at the federal labour board, and advocating for all federal workers with sitting MPs. Then in November, a huge win as the federal labour board rule unanimously in our favour, declaring Ledcor had engaged in bad-faith bargaining, and moving to impose a first collective agreement.

The reverberations of our historic win were felt throughout the labour movement right across the country. The picket line has come down and the members will be back on the job in January, but the fight is far from over. We took it to Ottawa in November, lobbying support for anti-scab legislation and stronger first-agreement articles in the federal code so that the five-year Ledcor fiasco never happens again. This is a fight we will continue into 2023!

Late this fall, IBEW International President Lonnie Stephenson stepped aside. We thank Brother Stephenson for his service and leadership, and wish him a long, happy and healthy retirement. Here in B.C. we saw changes in leadership, too. David Eby succeeded John Horgan at the helm of the ruling provincial NDP, and Sussanne Skidmore was acclaimed president of the BC Federation of Labour.

So much happened this year; this summary merely scratches the surface. We're cognizant of the challenges that we continue to face. We've seen the cost of living in this province skyrocket, and many of our members are heading into 2023 with bargaining renewed collective agreements top of the agenda. We are looking forward to continuing to fight for our members, and working families in 2023.

On behalf of all the staff at IBEW 213, thank you for your support throughout the year. We wish you a warm and peaceful holiday season and a safe and prosperous new year.

In solidarity,

Jim Lofty,
Business Manager

James A. Dyball,