Union leaders meet with Premier Christy Clark at cabinet office in Vancouver Monday.

B.C. unions pledge skills partnership

Construction unions accept olive branch from Clark over their role in skills training and apprenticeships

Construction union leaders emerged from a meeting with Premier Christy Clark Monday with a deal to work as “equal partners” on trades training for liquefied natural gas and other industrial development.

B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair and Tom Sigurdson, executive director of the B.C. and Yukon Building and Construction Trades Council, said they want to put political differences with the B.C. Liberal government behind them.

“During the course of the election campaign, Christy Clark was the only leader who wore a hardhat,” Sigurdson told reporters after a meeting at Clark’s Vancouver office. “And I can assure you that what I’m trying to do is put a couple of union stickers on there.”

Sinclair, more familiar with speaking at protest rallies against the government, said skills training is in a “crisis” that needs cooperation.

“It’s obvious the LNG is a critical part of our future,” Sinclair said. “It’s not the only part where skill shortages exist. The mining industry, the forest industry, the other energy industries, and many other places require skilled trades.”

Clark said a committee representing government, employers and unions has a target of Sept. 30 to formalize a plan for increased trades training.

Skills training was a major focus of the spring election campaign, with NDP leader Adrian Dix promising to return unions to a partnership he said was left out by the government’s Industry Training Authority.

Since winning a majority government, Clark has promised to review many functions of the B.C. government, including the structure of the Industry Training Authority.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

In-class instruction for Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows schools to resume June 1

Classes will be part-time, remote/at-home learning to continue

Maple Ridge Climate Hub urges city council to take action

Many neighbouring cities have declared climate emergencies

LETTER: Fearful guard dog training will bring undue noise and fear to Pitt Meadows

As a neighbour to another local dog-training facility, this resident pleads with council to vote ‘no’

LETTER: Friend claims dog training disruptive to ailing Pitt Meadows neighbour

Concern expressed with only 30 metres distance between a home and a proposed training facility

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping The News to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

BREAKING: Langley Gabby’s Country Cabaret announces ‘heartbreaking’ permanent closure

Owner Steve Gallagher ‘holds out hope’ of a new future for the 35-year-old nightlife hotspot

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Officials looking for answers after Abbotsford football star found dead in Sask. lake

Saskatchewan Health Authority looking into circumstances surrounding Samwel Uko’s hospital visit

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Most Read