No Need to Subject Sault Taxpayers to Costly Labour Disputes

Sault Ste. Marie (Sept. 7, 2018) – A dispute between the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and the Labourers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) over who should be recladding the Sault Civic Centre, underlines the urgent need to fix outdated provincial labour laws, according to the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA).

“This is what happens when construction labour monopolies control public infrastructure, and taxpayers are getting burned,” said Sean Reid, PCA Vice President and Regional Director, Ontario. “The Ontario government can put an end to these costly disruptions and save municipalities millions of dollars by closing a simple loophole in Ontario’s Labour Relations Act. Taxpayers in Sault Ste. Marie and across Ontario are counting on them to do so.”

PCA has been advocating for an amendment to Section 126 of Ontario’s Labour Relations Act to allow all qualified contractors to bid on Sault construction projects based on skill and experience, not union affiliation. Currently, the Sault is certified as a “construction employer” and required to award all municipal construction work to companies affiliated with two select unions.

PCA fully supports Sault Council’s efforts to change provincial labour laws, allowing the City to open up construction tendering. Research shows increasing competition on construction work would save local taxpayers between 20 to 30 percent on projects. That’s at least $1 million, just on the $6.5 million civic centre facelift.

“We’re urging all candidates in the upcoming municipal election race to get behind council and press for legislative change,” added Reid. “A small change could help Sault council and its taxpayers realize significant savings.”

PCA is the voice of progressive unionized employers in Canada’s construction industry. PCA member companies are leaders in infrastructure construction across Canada, employing more than 25,000 skilled construction workers who are represented primarily by CLAC. PCA promotes fair and open construction tendering in ALL Ontario municipalities.

For further information, contact:
Danna O’Brien. 416-500-0699

Leave a Comment