News

Message from your Business Manager

Dear Sisters & Brothers,

I understand that everyone is very anxious at this difficult time. The COVID-19 pandemic is a world-changing event, but I want you to know that everyone at IBEW 213 continues to work very hard for you, our members.

While our offices are closed to the public in order to help keep our staff safe, all our regular office work continues. If you are having an issue that requires help from your Assistant Business Manager, they are available.

One of the reasons we closed our office is to ensure we are following the social distancing guidelines set out by the provincial health officer. We expect every one of your employers to be enforcing the same social distancing, and not just encouraging, but also providing whatever is necessary to ensure proper personal hygiene.

We are actively working with your employers and with the BC Building Trades to ensure that workplaces are safe. If your workplace is not following the social distancing guidelines or has other hygiene issues, tell someone. Inform your shop steward or message your ABM. If you believe your workplace is unsafe, report it to WorkSafeBC.

For more information visit: ibew213.org/news/construction-site-hygiene

I hear your concerns about income security. We have been working hard behind the scene with the BC Building Trades and with the BC Federation of Labour to make sure government is aware of your concerns and is taking action. As a result, we have seen changes to Employment Insurance, including waiving the waiting period and requiring doctor’s note for Sickness Benefits, and expanded social assistance announced in the federal government’s Economic Response Plan.

For more information visit: canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

The provincial government is hearing us too, and we expect announcements very soon around support for both home owners and renters and further economic relief.

While we focus on what is going on here and affecting our members in British Columbia, we are also carefully watching the actions that other provinces and jurisdictions have and will be taking in response to this pandemic. We have seen complete shutdowns in California, and calls from our organized labour Sisters and Brothers in Quebec to close down construction site. Through the combined voice of the BC Building Trades, we have advocated for a ramping down of work at LNG Canada and Site C. Know that your safety and security is our highest priority.

Now more than ever is the time for solidarity. It is time for all of us to support one another while following the guidelines laid out by our public health officials. We have set up a Resources page on our website that we are constantly updating as information becomes available. I encourage you to check it regularly.

You can find our Resources page through the website homepage, or using this direct link: ibew213.org/resources-covid-19

You can find more information on COVID-19 on the BC Centre for Disease Control website here: bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19

You can also find more information on COVID-19 on the or the BC Government’s HealthLinkBC website here: healthlinkbc.ca/health-feature/coronavirus-disease-covid-19

Please continue to exercise good personal hygiene follow the provincial health officer's call for social distancing.

Thank you, and I wish all of you good health.

In solidarity,

Jim Lofty,
Business Manager

This message was sent to all IBEW 213 members on March 20, 2020 whose email address we have on file. If you did not receive this message by email, please contact the office so we can update you email address on file. Call 604.571.6500 or email communication@ibew213.org