Organizing: On the Road

Organizing in Northern Areas: A Focus on IBEW 993 Jurisdiction

The Vast Territory of IBEW 993

IBEW Local 993’s jurisdiction spans a significant portion of northern British Columbia and the Yukon Territory, encompassing areas such as Prince George, Fort St. John, Terrace, Whitehorse, Dawson City and many remote communities. The vastness and geographical diversity of these regions present unique challenges and opportunities for organizing electrical workers.

The Importance of Organizing in Northern Areas

Organizing in northern areas is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Economic Development: Northern BC and the Yukon Territory is rich in natural resources, leading to numerous industrial projects, including mining, forestry, and oil and gas. These projects require skilled electrical workers, and organizing ensures that these workers receive fair wages, safe working conditions, and proper training.
  2. Community Support: Many northern communities are small and remote, making it essential to have strong local representation to address workers’ specific needs and concerns.
  3. Safety and Standards: By organizing, IBEW 993 ensures that all electrical work meets high safety and quality standards, protecting both workers and the communities they serve.

Challenges of Organizing in Northern Areas

Organizing in northern areas comes with its own set of challenges:

  1. Geographical Isolation: The remoteness of many northern communities means that organizers often have to travel long distances, sometimes in harsh weather conditions, to reach potential members.
  2. Diverse Industries: The wide range of industries in the north, from resource extraction to renewable energy projects, requires a versatile approach to organizing and training.
  3. Workforce Mobility: Many workers in northern BC are transient, moving between projects and regions. This mobility makes it challenging to maintain consistent membership and engagement.

Ongoing Efforts

IBEW 993 continues to focus on several key locations to enhance organizing in northern areas:

  1. Ft. St. John/ Dawson Creek/Ft. Nelson: I will be in this area June 24-27.
  2. Whitehorse/Yukon: I will be in Whitehorse July 8-12.
  3. Terrace/Kitimat/Prince Rupert:  I will be in this area July 29-Aug 2.

These are simply the next dates for visits to these areas. I strive to visit these areas on a regular basis and will keep you up-to-date on when I will be in your area next. Please call or email me if you would like to meet while I’m in your area.

James Olson



Organizing in the northern areas of IBEW 993’s jurisdiction is an ongoing effort that requires dedication, adaptability, and an understanding of the region’s unique challenges. The continuing efforts of IBEW 993 are a testament to the union’s commitment to improving the lives of electrical workers in these remote and diverse communities. As IBEW 993 continues to grow and evolve, its focus on organizing in the north will remain a cornerstone of its mission to advocate for and empower electrical workers across northern British Columbia and Yukon Territory.

Posted on June 21, 2024
by James Olson