IUOE Local 793 Responds to PC Party Video

OAKVILLE, ON, May 22, 2014 /CNW/ - Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers has always embraced diversity and getting more women into the workforce, despite what the Ontario PC Party is trying to infer in a recently released video, Business Manager Mike Gallagher said today in a statement.

"Local 793 has a proud track record of diversity and reaching out to women in the construction industry," he stated. "We believe that all groups, regardless of colour, race or ancestry, deserve to be treated with respect and have the ability to earn an honest living. That's the way our union has always conducted business."

In the video, the PC Party claims that the Working Families Coalition is keeping women out of the workforce. A photo of Local 793 officers, that was copyrighted by the union and used in the video without permission, refers to the Coalition as run by old white men that are male, pale and stale.

"It seems that Tim Hudak has not, emotionally, left elementary school, as that was the last time name-calling could be deemed excusable due to such immaturity," Gallagher said. "These types of attacks stink of propaganda."

"Our doors have always been, and always will be, open to women and minorities. Tim Hudak is pointing the finger at us for not accepting women into the ranks but how many women will be let go as a result of his plan to cut 100,000 public service jobs. A large percentage of those will be women."

Gallagher said Local 793's goal is to provide skilled workers to its signatory contractors – regardless of gender or race – and union representatives regularly attend career fairs to attract recruits to the trades.

Gallagher said that PC Leader Tim Hudak doesn't have a clue how Local 793 and other construction unions operate as he has never bothered to visit the union training centre in Oakville.

He noted that Hudak has spoken at Chamber of Commerce meetings in Oakville and his only comment was that unions were supporting students in Quebec who were protesting tuition fee hikes.

"Our union is not hiding behind anything," said Gallagher. "We are an open and transparent organization."

Gallagher suggested that instead of casting stones Hudak should look at the makeup of his own party which at the disolution of the Legislature had only eight female MPPs, compared to nine for the NDP and 13 for the Liberals.

Gallagher said he would be happy to debate Hudak on the issues of diversity and training and the PC leader's proposed One Million Jobs Plan.

"There is no way he can create 200,000 jobs in construction with the stroke of a pen," Gallagher noted. "This sort of rhetoric is ridiculous and his plan is unrealistic."

Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers represents thousands of 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.

SOURCE: International Union Of Operating Engineers - Local 793

For further information: Local 793 Business Manager Mike Gallagher, 905-469-9299, ext. 2202

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