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Local 793 lauds historic agreement on Energy East Pipeline

Local 793 lauds historic agreement on Energy East Pipeline

Mike Gallagher, business manager of Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, says a memorandum of understanding signed today for work on the Energy East Pipeline Project is important because the venture will ensure thousands of jobs for unionized trades.

"Local 793 is fully supportive of this memorandum of understanding because the project will create thousands of high-paying jobs for Operating Engineers and other unionized trades that do pipeline work," he said. "The project will deliver significant economic benefits to the entire country."

The Operating Engineers are one of four trades that, along with the Pipe Line Contractors Association of Canada, signed the memorandum with TransCanada Corporation. The agreement ensures the $15.7-billion pipeline will be built to the highest safety standards by the four union partners.

"We have a long history of working with TransCanada," said Gallagher. "Pipelines like Energy East are true nation-building projects and we are ready and willing to work with the other unionized trades and contractor partners to get the job done. We will ensure the pipeline gets built right."

Gallagher said Local 793 has been preparing for projects like Energy East by investing in a pipeline-training program at the Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario (OETIO) campus in Morrisburg. The three-week program was introduced in anticipation of more pipeline work coming on stream.

In the course, Operating Engineers participate in field training exercises on excavators, dozers and sidebooms and learn about safety and work procedures specific to pipeline work. The course is important because industry technology has changed over the years and the OETIO wants to ensure that students are trained on equipment that is current and being used in the field.

Gallagher said he is hopeful the National Energy Board of Canada will approve the Energy East project because it makes more sense to transport oil from reliable domestic suppliers in Western Canada to refineries in the East, rather than importing 700,000 barrels per day from overseas.

"Pipelines are the safest way to move oil. We all need to get behind Energy East and build it with Canadian unionized trades."

Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers represents more than 14,500 highly skilled crane and heavy equipment operators across Ontario. The union has a head office, banquet hall and training campus in Oakville, and another training campus in Morrisburg.

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