October 25, 2022

Brynn BourkeTHE PROJECTS WE BUILD are so impressive that we can often lose sight of the people behind them. Our members’ touch so much of the provincial landscape. It’s hard not to fill the pages of TradeTalk with pictures of our members erecting skyscrapers or bridges. There is so much to showcase in our members work. Our work touches every corner of the province and is integral to our energy, water and transportation systems.

But in this issue, we wanted to put a spotlight on the people of the building trades. We put the call out to our unions for member stories from every corner of the building trades to take a deeper dive into the people behind the projects.

This issue profiles several special members; like Lou Lessard, the last surviving ironworker of the 1958 collapse of the Second Narrows Crossing (now the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge).

We sat down with Paddy Byrne, former business manager for DC 38 and outgoing director of training for the Finishing Trades Institute to get his insights as he prepares to retire after decades in the trades.

We also met with Lauren Scott-Moncrieff, incoming chair of the IBEW 230 NextGen Youth Committee, to get her perspective as a new electrician and her thoughts on the future of the trades.

We talked with Steve Davis, organizer for Sheet Metal 280, to learn about his work growing his union and the challenges of organizing during COVID.

And we spoke to Lisa Flesher on diversifying the Building Trades and her efforts to bring more women into LiUNA! 1611.

We also explored one of the many, many charitable actions our members are involved with by chatting with Jeff Sloychuk from the BC Regional Council of Carpenters, who has been collecting and distributing supplies to Ukrainians displaced by the recent conflict in Europe.

In preparing this issue, it became clear we had too many stories to tell. Our members are doing amazing things on and off the job site. In their home communities and, as in Jeff’s case, around the world.

We’re pleased to give you a little sample of the talent and commitment demonstrated by the members of the BC Building Trades. The best thing about the building trades is the people.

I hope you enjoy reading some of their remarkable stories.

By Brynn Bourke
Executive Director