LiUNA Local 506

2021 Leading on Diversity Award | Union

“Local 506 has gone above and beyond its planned Community Benefits target. In fact, it has exceeded the combined efforts of all other unions that supply apprentices for Crosslinx Transit Solutions (CTS) which is building the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit Project.” David Galvin, Crosslinx Transit Solutions. 

Proudly serving a wide range of workers in the I.C.I. and Industrial sectors, LiUNA Local 506 represents 8000 members. Its mandate is to continue to improve the well-being of all working families and to ensure fair treatment in the workplace.

LiUNA 506’s success in exceeding the targets in supplying apprentices from underrepresented groups to fulfill Crosslinx Transit Solutions Community Benefits Agreement is a result of a number of best practices:

  • Local 506 did not change its intake process but in 2014 started recruiting in five neighbourhoods across the City where construction would be taking place - Weston Mt. Denis, Don Mills and Eglinton and Victoria Park and Eglinton neighbourhoods, and also joined in TCBN’s Ready to Build outreach sessions.
  • All apprentices dispatched to Crosslinx completed 8 weeks of level 1 training – doing training upfront allowed the union to assess and train everyone before starting work.
  • The Local 506 Training Centre, Local 506 executive board, business reps and dispatcher all understood the importance of the CBA on the Crosslinx job, and communication happened before apprentices were dispatched.
  • As a result, Local 506 was able to streamline the dispatch process and provide opportunities on this job for apprentices from diverse backgrounds.
  • Local 506 has provided just in time training to support the Project, while at the same time preparing members to work.
  • LiUNA 506’s representatives ( from training, business, field, and dispatch etc.) have actively worked with Crosslinx Transit Solutions to address hiring and retention concerns and ensure individuals with the necessary skills and training are dispatched to the Project.
  • Any issues or concerns have always been addressed in a timely and principled/professional manner. Crosslinx has benefited from Local 506's cooperation and has been successful in engaging many tradespeople with diverse backgrounds. Crosslinx is successful because of this diverse workforce and Local 506 has actively contributed to that success.
  • Through all of this, retention is high. To date, 22 apprentices completed their working hours and 7 apprentices completed their apprenticeship and are journeypersons.

LiUNA 506 has a longstanding history of “firsts” in best practices and accomplishments with respect to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. When Mamadou Bah was appointed as a Business Representative for Local 506 in 2002, he became the first Black Business Representative in Canada. Members of LiUNA 506 participate in LiUNA Ontario’s District Council Minority Group and were involved in establishing the LiUNA African American (Canadian) Caucus that helped initiate the NexGen Builders Mentoring Program for Black youth, fulfilling its mission to identify and support the needs and interests of LIUNA members of African descent, their families and the communities they live in.

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