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.


Just Posted

Speakers to discuss Site C project- and how to stop it

Finding parallels between massive northern hydro project and the Arrow Lakes flooding

Consult before creating Fauquier reserve: CCT

Sinixt seek consultation before Westbank reserve gets go-ahead

Nakusp bike shop owner opens hostel

Catering to the cycling crowd coming to the area for world-class biking

In historic Sandon, clearing roofs just part of winter

Sandon roofs can take a lot, but need maintenance

Needles killer frightened many in our town: BC author

Roy Bugera disrupted life in a quiet Vancouver Island village before moving to Arrow Lakes

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Anti-pipeline protestors block Kinder Morgan tanker near Seattle

Protest was spurred on by the 28 anti-Kinder Morgan activists arrested in Burnaby

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Canada earns second Paralympic Games silver in 20 years

Held 1-0 lead in para hockey game from 12:06 of first to dying seconds of third and lost in overtime

LETTERS: Two views of oil pipeline protests

U.S. and other petroleum-rich countries aren’t cutting production

Most Read