PCA has a vision for a fair and open construction industry in Canada – an industry that ceases to pit worker against worker, and worker against employer.
We support a construction industry that is open to all, regardless of union affiliation. By calling for the elimination of labour laws that favour certain craft unions over other industry participants, we seek to level an unbalanced playing field that holds back not just the construction industry, but also our national productivity and the Canadian economy.
Throughout Canada, we will work for every province and municipality to embrace this new vision: a fair and open construction industry, cooperative labour relations, and a robust, inclusive, and highly-capable workforce.
The Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA) was founded in 2000, to represent Canada’s progressively unionized construction employers, and to champion the unique policy, market, and employment interests related to our member’s collective bargaining relationships.
The following represent the philosophies and key principles that guide the work of PCA on behalf of its members:
- PCA believes that the construction sector should be a competitive space that is fair and open for all construction firms and their workforces, regardless of union affiliation or lack thereof
- Labour, apprenticeship, and public procurement policies, laws and regulations should accurately and objectively reflect the diverse construction delivery and labour models that characterize Canada’s construction and maintenance sectors
- PCA employers recognize their employees’ right to choose to belong to a union or to abstain from union membership. Employees have a right to bargain a collective agreement if they choose a union. PCA supports a collaborative collective bargaining relationship that respects the rights and needs of workers, as well as driving increased economic activity and investment
- All employees have a fundamental right to a productive workplace that is safe both physically and mentally, and employment practices and opportunities which do not discriminate on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or mental or physical disability
Solving Canada’s Fiscal Challenges
At all levels, governments in Canada are in the midst of profound fiscal challenges intensified by sizeable shifts in the country’s demographics.
In our industry, government policies have allowed for the creation of labour monopolies that exclude workers purely on the basis of union affiliation. These monopolies have driven up the cost of construction, thereby diminishing the number of projects that can be accomplished or adding to unsustainable public debts.
Because of these monopolies, PCA member companies have been restricted from bringing their progressive unionization model into major markets across Canada – such as the Maritimes, Quebec, Manitoba, municipalities in Ontario, and up until recently Saskatchewan.
The fiscal pressures on municipal, provincial and federal governments are an opportunity for change.
The PCA vision for fair and open construction competition is well-suited to help governments and the private sector meet Canada’s fiscal and economic challenges.
Strengthening Canada’s Construction Workforce
Canada is experiencing an acute shortage of skilled labour in the construction industry. The construction monopolies advocated for by the Building Trades Council (BTC), moreover, serve only to exacerbate this shortage.
The immediate victim of the skills shortage is productivity. Construction projects cost more and take longer to complete than necessary. Or they are not started at all.
The consequence is that local, provincial and national economies are not growing as quickly as they should. Canadians find themselves out of work, or underemployed, when there is work that needs to be done.
Employing more than 20,000 skilled construction workers across Canada, PCA member companies stand ready to provide relief through our numbers, networks and expertise.
By expanding Canada’s construction workforce and strengthening its ability to work together, we will enhance the productivity of our industry and our economy.
Building Canada’s Economic Opportunities
Increasingly, natural and renewable resources and infrastructure are at the centre of Canada’s economy. Whether it is oil and gas in Alberta & British Columbia, Carbon Sequestration in Saskatchewan, or mining in Ontario – not to mention rapid growing solar, wind, and hydro electric generation sectors – domestic and global demand for our country’s natural & renewable resources continues to grow.
The opportunities arising from the demand for Canada’s natural and renewable resources and the need for adequate infrastructure present considerable opportunities, including in the construction industry.
Moreover, our expertise and leadership in construction of the infrastructure upon which economies are built is well established. Examples of our work include hydro projects, highways, water treatment plants, hospitals, and schools all across Canada.
On a level playing field, our members can compete and win. When it comes to the skills that will be in demand, we have shown that our member companies and their progressive model can lead the industry.