Electricians Union, Building Trades Warn of Worker Safety Risks Tied To New Apprenticeship Ratios

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Electricians Union, Building Trades Warn of Worker Safety Risks Tied To New Apprenticeship Ratios

April 27, 2021

Winnipeg – In December 2020, the Government of Manitoba implemented, without consultation, a regulation change to the Apprenticeship and Certification — General Regulations, which changed Apprentice to Journeyperson Ratios from 1:1 to 2:1 for all trades in Manitoba. This ratio change makes workplaces more dangerous for Manitobans working in the skilled trades and were originally set at 1:1 after the tragic and preventable deaths of Manitoba workers.


“Electricians know that injuries and deaths due to electrocution are the greatest job risk to inexperienced and unsupervised apprentices,” said Russ Shewchuk, Business Manager of IBEW 2085. “With electricity, many times you don’t get a second chance and I am extremely worried about the safety of young electrical apprentices in Manitoba with these new ratios.”


The 1:1 apprenticeship ratio was implemented by the former NDP government because of these tragedies. The previous 1:1 ratio ensured that workers learning their craft would have the support and guidance that they needed in order to come home to their families.


“The safety of our apprentices is paramount and IBEW Local 2085 will never put any apprentice’s safety and lives in jeopardy, this is why we will continue to mandate 1:1 ratios for our members,” stated Russ Shewchuk, Business Manager of IBEW 2085.


April 28th is the National Day of Mourning, an event to remember the workers lost to workplace deaths and illnesses. Canada was the first country to commemorate this day, but it is now observed in over 80 countries around the world. Manitoba was previously a leader in workplace health and safety regulation, which has been undermined as part of their red tape reduction strategy.


“This unilateral change to ratios will put our skilled trades workers and apprentices at risk,” said Sudhir Sandhu, CEO of Manitoba Building Trades. “The government should have consulted with industry and labour to determine ratio adjustments on a trade by trade basis.”



About IBEW 2085

IBEW 2085 is the local union of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. We represent 1450 electrical workers, which include Electricians and Power Linemen in Construction, working in Manitoba and Nunavut. https://ibew2085.com/ 




Contact: Jeffrey Skinner

Business Agent

(204) 982-2085



About Manitoba Building Trades 

MBT represents the common goals of more than 10,000 construction and trades professionals in our 13 member unions to deliver safe, skilled and highly productive labour. MBT delivers cost competitive skilled labour while maintaining the highest standards of training, wages and benefits and workplace safety.  www.mbtrades.ca 

Contact: Tanya Palson

Manager of External Relations

Email:  tpalson@mbtrades.ca

Phone: (204)-801-5301