Jim Johnston, a long-time plumber and steam fitter at the General Hospital campus of Hamilton Health Sciences, is being feted on Tuesday night for helping to keep mostly hidden piping and equipment systems in top notch form.  

Johnston is the winner of the Trades Person of the Year, a recognition awarded yearly by the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, the hospital division of CUPE Ontario.

Hospital operating systems – that include water, steam and gas – are complex, very large and run 24-hours a day, seven-days a week. There are thousands of skilled trades people whose work at more than 250 hospital sites is tied directly to safe patient care in emergency and operating rooms as well as patient rooms.

“It’s an immense challenge to keep our hospital infrastructure – much of which is aging – in safe working order.  We are proud to say thank you to trades people like Jim Johnston with this recognition award,” says OCHU President Michael Hurley, who will be on hand for the award presentation at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 11 at the Steelworkers Hall, 1031 Barton St. East, Hamilton.

In nominating Johnston for the award, CUPE 7800 President Dave Murphy, said that Johnston is “always a smiling face in the hospital, immensely proud of the work he does and, in his activism advocating for public health care and workers’ rights.”