Published in January 2000 - I.B.E.W. Journal

Organizing Campaign

L.U. 230 (i, u, c, em, mar, catv) VICTORIA, BC - On January 14th the I.B.E.W. in BC began our campaign to inform Telus workers across the Province the advantages and benefits associated with belonging to our Union. We were well received by a good portion of their 9500 telecommunication workers and this truly appears to be the campaign to launch the I.B.E.W. into the new millennium.

We would like to welcome two new signatory contractors, Puntledge Plumbing and Power in Courtenay and Class "A" Installations in Duncan.

Over the past six months Local 230 has filed employment standards complaints regarding non-payment of overtime wages by non-union contractors. This shows the entire electrical industry that the I.B.E.W. is willing to stand up for all workers rights.

The Provincial N.D.P. Government's commitment to strong social platforms such as education and health care has translated into work for our members wiring Vancouver Island schools and the Jubilee Hospital.

Our marine electrical/electronics members are part of the Federal Dockyard's Trades and Labour Council which is co-complainant in a lawsuit against the Government of Canada to recover 30 billion dollars of "surplus" pension funds.

Finally, we were successful at defeating a decertification attempt by Shaw Cable in front of the Canadian Labour Relations Board.


Published in April 2005 - I.B.E.W. Journal

DND Members receive Shop steward Training

IBEW members working at the Federal Government's Department of National Defense recently received needed steward training. President, Hugh Price of the Dockyard Trades and Labour Council in conjunction with 2 members from the Liaison Committee, IBEW International Rep. and Chairman to the Liaison Committee Paul Tremblay and IBB International Rep. Dwight Harris instructed the members of the 11 International and National craft Unions Affiliated to the Council.

During the 2 day course stewards went through the structure of handling a grievance along with the investigation process. Guest speakers included the Employee Assistance Program Chairperson and Dispute Resolution Centre worker along with the videos explaining Grievance Mediation and an introduction to the Formal and expedited adjudication process within the Public Service Staff Relations Board. IBEW Local 230 stewards are now much better equipped at doing their job.

In Solidarity,
Philip Venoit
Business Manager/
Financial Secretary

Local 230 Stewards from left, G. Raper, J. Hestnes, and R. Todd

Published in June 2005 - I.B.E.W. Journal

Western Canadian Utility Conference

The 34 annual Western Canadian Utility Conference was held late February in Victoria, B.C. this year. Local Unions representing workers in the Power, Telephone, Gas, and Cablevision Industries as well as workers in over 50 cities and towns across western Canada were present. City Councilor and Provincial New Democratic Party MLA hopeful, Rob Flemming opened the Conference wishing the IBEW all the best. The agenda included the escalating problems rising out of the deregulation of the telephone and power industries across the Continent, a proposed National Benefit Plan, legislated privacy policies, Corporate Alliances, an Alternative Dispute Resolution proposal, and member demographics to ensure we stem the problem of skilled trade's shortages. Council Secretary-Treasurer and Local 1007 Business Manager, Jerry Larson says, "This is a great opportunity for an inter-provincial discussion and understanding on behalf of our collective membership across Western Canada."

Many Governments have given in to corporate pressure to allow private power producers in to the Industry, which historically results in increased costs to consumers. Essentially we end up paying more for the private companies profits, at the same time decrease government revenues which were used to help pay for other public services like Health Care and Education. Electrical Workers like our members at the City of Victoria provide a very essential service for our citizens. Retired International Reps, Wayne Brazeau and Jim Wolfgang were also present and as active as ever, Brother Wolfgang gave us an update on the Multiple Sclerosis Society and we raised $740.00. Over the past 22 years the IBEW has been involved in the MS Society we have contributed over 2 million dollars towards this cause that is something to be proud of. A two day Train the Trainer Course for New Member Orientation preceded the Conference and was well attended.

In Solidarity,
Philip Venoit
Business Manager/
Financial Secretary

Published in December 2006 - I.B.E.W. Journal

IBEW-Baskin Pig Roast

L.U. 230 (c, catv,em,i,mar&u), VICTORIA, BC, CANADA- This year marked the 23rd annual IBEW Local 230 – Baskin family Pig Roast and what a day! Some 200 members and their families attended, the sun was shining and the day was warm at 26 degrees Celsius (78 Fahrenheit for our American brothers and sisters). The horseshoes were flying, and the winning team on the shoes this year was Allan Carter and Don Leard. The kids had lots of games, and a big "thank you" goes out to Michelle and Betty for keeping the kids busy all day. Many employers from the Campbell River area contributed prizes and they all deserve thanks as well. Refreshments flowed throughout the day until late in the evening when the band Lymezine rocked the members into the night.

Thanks again to the entire Baskin family – Murray and Todd and special thanks to 53-year member Bob Baskin and Betty Baskin for the use of their house and home.

Philip Venoit
Business Manager/
Financial Secretary

Published in May 2007 - I.B.E.W. Journal

Brother Wayne Griffiths Retires

Brother Wayne Griffiths began playing with radio sets around 1946. Building Crystal sets of various types from drawings in old Popular Mechanics Magazines, but when a camouflaged panel truck from the DOC showed up in the driveway, to shut Wayne down for building a spark transmitter on a 50 foot horizontal antenna and using his Boy Scout handbook to send Morse code to his brother while blocking out the local radio stations, he was told "no more transmitting!"

Wayne's career with the IBEW started at Dockyard as an electronics apprentice, but after a few words with an unnamed manager, he left to go to the Victoria Machine Depot building the new BC Ferries. Then to Yarrows and back to Dockyard, around the mid 1960's Wayne worked at BC Telephone but didn't like working inside all the time, so he quit, and went up to Prince Rupert to work on the Watson Island Pulp Mill. Wayne came back home to work in the shipyards in Victoria again, then up to Gold River to build the new Mill. While working up at Rumble Beach in Port Alice, Wayne got married, then returned to Victoria again working downtown with Blackball Electric, Houle Electric at the Victoria Eaton's Centre, then returned to Dockyard in 1988 to come full circle ‘till his retirement in December 2006.

"I've been at for 47 years and I don't know if I would do it any different! I got to see a lot of British Columbia on a variety of jobs, and I had the chance to meet and acquire good friends. What more can a man ask for?"

Wayne, from all of your friends and family in the IBEW, we wish you all the best in your retirement.

Submitted by,
Philip Venoit

Published in August 2007 - I.B.E.W. Journal

IBEW continues to provide Leadership

The BC Federation of Labour is the Provincial body which speaks on behalf of the 450,000 union members in British Columbia, and as the IBEW is one of the 14 largest unions in BC we're allotted one member as Executive Officer and another as an Executive Council member. At the last BC Fed Convention the IBEW delegates elected Sister Michelle Laurie, President of Local 258 to the Officer position and Brother Phil Venoit, Business Manager of Local 230 to the Executive Council. With a union density of approximately 31% in British Columbia these are very important positions for the IBEW to hold.

Pat Baxter
Recording Secretary

Local 230 Hosts All Canada Progress Meeting

I.P. Ed Hill, I.V.P. Phil Flemming, Local 230 B.M. Phil Venoit and Sec.-Treasurer Jon Walters pause for moment for what was a very busy Progress Meeting.
Victoria, British Columbia was the setting for the 2007 ACPM, the venue was the Victoria Conference Centre attached to the historic Empress Hotel situated on the shore of Victoria's inner harbour, the old vacation playground of people like Bob Hope and John Wayne, what a setting.! Preceding the ACPM was the Canadian Membership Development Conference which was well attended by many locals across the Country, and IBEW developed course on "How to Conduct a Trial", this year's ACPM broke previous records for attendance, and many speakers provided IBEW Delegates with reams of new information and served to instill Brotherhood throughout the First District's Local Officers and Staff. The weatherman planned the sun and temperature to perfection, and there was plenty of time set aside to enjoy old friends and network with new ones.

I would like to thank I.P. Hill, Sec-Treasurer Walters and all the delegates for coming to our little piece of this great Union, the local sponsors, Local 230 staff and members who all pitched in to make this year's ACPM an event to remember.

In Solidarity,
Philip Venoit
Business Manager/
Financial Secretary

Published in February 2008 - I.B.E.W. Journal

Local 230 Bro. Curtis Reese (driver) gets horsepower from Bro. Shawn Mostad at the United Way Dockyard Daytona Cart Series race.
Labour/United Way Kick-off

L.U. 230 (c,catv,em,i,mar&u), VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA-Over 1,000 union members at the Fleet Maintenance Facility in Dockyard, western Canada's naval defense point, kicked-off the United Way Dockyard Daytona Cart Series competitive racing event. IBEW Local 230 entered four teams from various shops for the 1/4 mile race. With 27 teams competing, the event was emceed by AJ & Crash, the morning crew from Jack-FM radio, the local rock station. The collective members of the Dockyard Trades and Labour Council (most unions which belong to the Metal Trades on Vancouver Island) raised over $160,000 to date. This donation will go to the Greater Victoria United Way to help invest in issues that most impact our community including housing and assistance for the homeless and working poor; mental health services; and family and community services.

Published in March 2008 - I.B.E.W. Journal

More than a dozen Victoria, British Columbia, Local 230 members are employed on the Pacifica, a 177- unit luxury condominium project in Nanaimo, one of the many new residential projects staffed by the IBEW.
British Columbia Local Makes Gains in Growing Housing Market

Three years ago condominiums and high-rise apartments were sprouting all over Vancouver Island, British Columbia, but Victoria Local 230 and its signatory contractors weren't getting much of the work. "We stopped paying attention to residential in the ‘70s," Local 230 Business Manager Philip Venoit said. "It came back to haunt us." The 800-member local held a strong market share in Vancouver Island's pulp and paper mills, but the decline of the industry made breaking into the residential market- in which the local held a market share of less than 5 percent-a matter of survival. "Our industrial work was vanishing and not coming back anytime soon, but with the residential boom, we saw an opportunity to get into something new," Venoit said. Union contractors were concerned about competing against low-wage nonunion contractors, but a residential agreement between the local and signatory contractors in 2005 managed to lower labor costs without reducing wages and benefits by increasing the apprentice-to-journeyman ratio on work sites. "Building condos is more repetitive than a lot of commercial work, so we could increase the number of apprentices without sacrificing quality of work," Venoit said. The agreement gave contractors a new competitive edge, but it is the IBEW's commitment to quality and professionalism that made the difference when it came to effectively bidding for work, said Ross McLean, branch manager for Houle Electric. "IBEW members take President Hill's message about the Code of Excellence to heart," McLean said. "Local 230 members show up to work on time, give us a good day's work and take safety seriously." In addition to nearly doubling their market share, the local has increased its membership by nearly 10 percent, thanks to an advertising blitz by Local 230, which placed ads on the island's bus system.

The Electrical Worker Online June 2009

North of 49 - New Work Ferries in Vancouver Island Shipyard's Comeback

IBEW Jouran
Some of the more than 30 search-and-rescue ships built for the Canadian coast guard by members of Victoria, British Columbia, Local 230, were ferried up the East Coast for service in the Maritimes.
The sounds of shipyard craftsmen at work are finally returning to Esquimalt Graving Dock-the largest marine dry dock on Canada's West Coast-after years of quiet.

The dock, located in Victoria, British Columbia, is seeing a surge in federal construction dollars to modernize the facility. And new government and private shipping contracts for Victoria Shipyards, the biggest shipbuilder on the island, are creating new jobs for Victoria Local 230 members.

"We've made a huge comeback on the docks," said Local 230 Business Manager Phil Venoit. "We were down to a skeleton crew of about nine guys in the '90s. Now we're looking at topping more than 100 members."

Much of the new work is due to increased spending by the Depart-ment of National Defense to beef up the navy's and coast guard's fleets.

In one of the biggest projects the shipyard has seen in decades, more than a dozen Local 230 members were involved in wiring over 30 coast guard search-and-rescue ships, which were completed four years ago, said Local 230 member George Kohorst. Kohorst, now an electrical instructor at Camosun College, was the lead field engineer on the project.

The ships were even featured on the TV program "The Guard."

The $60 million contract was completed 14 months earlier than planned. The Canadian government was so pleased with the IBEW's work that the local was awarded a contract for eight training ships for the navy.

Starting this fall, the shipyard will perform maintenance on the Canadian navy's West Coast submarine fleet, opening up dozens of new jobs. Local 230 is expected to have more than 170 electricians working on the dock by 2010, Venoit said.

The dock, which dates back to before Confederation, has traditionally been one of the busiest in North America, building ships for both the British and Canadian navies.

But the 1980s saw the beginnings of a slowdown as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney instituted cutbacks to naval spending and ended federal subsidies to the shipbuilding industry, helping to bring work on the dock to a near halt.

"The shipbuilding industry is a three-legged chair," said Venoit, who started in the shipyards in 1980. "It requires support from the federal and provincial governments and private industry. Saw off one of those legs and the whole thing could fall over."

Despite the federal dollars now coming in, the IBEW, along with other shipyard unions, is still pushing for all B.C. ferry work to be done at B.C. shipyards. They have launched a grassroots campaign to persuade members of the legislative assembly to overturn the decision by the anti-labour Liberal government to award ferry building and maintenance contracts to foreign companies.

British Columbia has one of the largest ferry services in North America.

"If the federal government trusts us to maintain their submarines and naval work, British Columbia can entrust us to build their ferries," Venoit said.

Pacific Northwest Adventure June 2009

IBEW Journal
Local 230 member Fred Martin circumnavigated Vancouver Island, British Columbia, in a kayak.
L.U. 230 (c,catv,em,i,mar&u), VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA-On May 14, 2008, Bro. Fred Martin departed his home on a remarkable solo journey to circumnavigate Vancouver Island in a kayak. Taking only basic supplies including a spare paddle, a life jacket, water purifier, and a supply of dried food, Fred's one concession to the electronic age was a device called "Spot Messenger," sending a daily signal using Google Earth mapping to family and friends via e-mail, to track his progress.

Twenty days off the rugged coast of Brooks Peninsula, Canada's most westerly point, in 6-meter seas and 50-knot winds, Fred was hit by a huge wave and suffered his only capsizing, breaking three ribs. After taping up his broken ribs with trusty black electricians tape, Fred carried on. He paddled amongst Grey whales, camped next to ancient First Peoples totems, shared a beach with a wolf, soaked in natural hot spring pools, saw seals and otters, and viewed breathtaking scenery. Often paddling 16-hour days without going ashore, he battled wild wind and tides. "There were a few times when I figured it was all over," Fred says in his understated way. "There was just nowhere to go."

Showing the same strength of purpose and determination that he's known for on the job, 40 days and some 720 miles after setting out, Fred (who will only admit to being 59 years old) paddled back into the protected waters of Fanny Bay completing this incredible adventure. Congratulations, Fred: you are an inspiration to us all.

Keith Coppinger, B.R.