BOILERMAKER LEADERS FROM five local lodges in British Columbia met with John Horgan, the new Leader of the New Democratic Party in the BC province, March 12, near Vancouver. They were joined by International Rep Richard MacIntosh. The meeting gave members an opportunity to discuss issues that affect Boilermakers and the industries in which they work. Among the topics were jobs, developments in the cement industry, the offshore construction of ferry boats, the carbon tax on industry, and a planned hydroelectric project.
U.S. AREA APPRENTICESHIP committees have scheduled competitions for 2015. The events will be held as follows: Western States, May 4-7, at the Local 101 Training Center in Denver; Northeast/Great Lakes, June 1-4, at the Local 154 Training Center in Pittsburgh; and Southeast, June 28-July 2, at the Local 456 Training Center, Rock Hill, S.C.
The Boilermakers National Apprenticeship Competition will be held August 30-September 3 at the Local 456 Training Center.
MANY ISSUES WILL come before Congress between now and the LEAP Conference in mid-May. Republicans now control both the House and Senate, and this should make for an interesting legislative session! However, we don’t have a firm idea yet about what issues may be on the main Republican agenda and whether Congress will work with the administration. Much will depend on what moves forward in the next month or two. While there are many issues on which we could lobby, we do try to limit them to about four major topics for our visits to the Hill.
IN NOVEMBER 2013, UN climate chief Christiana Figueres addressed the World Coal Association (WCA) summit in Warsaw, Poland. (Her official title is Executive Secretary for the United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change.)
NEGOTIATORS FROM NEARLY 200 countries will meet in Paris in December to seek a climate change agreement aimed at keeping the global average temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Beyond that threshold, many scientists believe, the Earth will suffer catastrophic and irreparable climate harm.
The Paris summit, known as COP21 (Conference of the Parties, 21st year), follows a December 2014 meeting in Lima, Peru (COP 20), which laid the groundwork for a possible agreement.
THE MOST DRUG policy for construction Boilermakers will once again include annual testing, effective August 31, 2015.
MOST Administrator Roger Erickson issued a memorandum to all construction lodges March 20 announcing the change. Under the revised policy, any construction member who is eligible for referral through the MOST Boilermaker Delivery System (MBDS) must comply with the policy by the August 31, 2015 deadline or face being placed on the ineligible list until the test can be completed with a negative test result.
I came to America from Egypt in 1982 when I was 22, looking for a better life. My father-in-law, the late John A. Harmer Jr., a first-generation Boilermaker, encouraged me to join the trade. I worked closely with highly-skilled Boilermakers who patiently taught me everything I needed to know. Coming from another country and having to learn English was hard, and my first years in the trade were the toughest.