September 2011

Local 213: Electrifying Vancouver
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The IBEW's relationship with what would become BC Hydro dates back to 1907, when a fledging Local 213 signed its first agreement with its predecessor BC Electric.

Starting with seven members in 1901, Local 213 today has more than 5,000 working in nearly every sector and industry to make Vancouver one of North America's most dynamic cities.

Mostly linemen back in the early 1900s, today Local 213 represents workers in inside construction, clerical, the cable and satellite industry and manufacturing at more than 170 different employers.

The local has also been a leader in the metro and provincial labor movement.

Until his death in 2010, Business Manager Richard Dowling, a committed and energetic leader who boosted the local's membership by 1,000 under his tenure, served as Eighth District International Executive Committee member.

Local 213 electricians have been a key part of major projects in the city that have recently showcased the IBEW's skills and talents to Canada and the world.

Its members put in tens of thousands of man-hours wiring some of Vancouver's top business and entertainment destinations, including Rogers Arena, the Convention Center, which is hosting the IBEW's 38th convention, and its biggest project ever: the 2010 Winter Games.

Hundreds of members of Local 213 and Vancouver Local 258 helped power up the games, energizing a new light rapid transit system, setting up a broadcast center and refrigeration units to make artificial snow and lighting ski jumps and bobsled tracks.

Currently, more than 100 Local 213 members are at work on BC Place, a new sports arena that will feature the largest cable-supported retractable roof in the world.

Local 213's commitment to quality training and on-the-job excellence goes above and beyond provincial standards. All of its electricians are Red Seal qualified, which means they are recognized by the federal government as the best trained workers in the industry.

"We take our commitment to excellence on the job seriously," says Business Manager Mike Flynn. "Local 213 is known in Vancouver as the place you turn to when you want to get it done right the first time."

Local 213 has also pioneered efforts to help keep signatory contractors competitive through the Electrical Industry Advancement Fund, which gives them a boost in bidding for projects.

"The union continues to look for ways to help us become competitive and offers new approaches to solving problems in the market," says Ron Fettback, general superintendent at Western Pacific Enterprises, a signatory contractor.


Read more: IBEW Alights on Vibrant Vancouver

Read more: High Wire to Hydro, Local 258 Covers Vast Territory

Read more: Victoria Local a Key Link, Onshore and Off

More than 5,000 Vancouver Local 213 members help keep the city on the cutting edge of innovation and economic growth.