The once-every-three years “open season” for labour disruption in Ontario’s construction industry has so far seen some strikes, some settlements, and other situations where negotiations are continuing.
Perhaps the most visible strike – and settlement – has been LiUNA local 183‘s agreement for residential framers who ratified a settlement on May 24, after going on strike on May 2. The vote to return was 872 in favour against 437 not to ratify.
LiUNA representative Jason Ottey said in published report that the framers, who work on piecework, are seeing more complex and challenging requirements for construction and this has impacted their income.
“I would characterize it (the negotiated agreement) as a breakthrough agreement on a number of items that were either not appropriately compensated for or not at all, now recognized with a rate in the agreement,” he was quoted as saying.
However, the same union’s component representing striking marble, tile and terrazzo workers, voted against a proposed settlement with the Residential Tile Construction Association on May 20.
There have been other negotiating successes and failures including:
- Demolition and asbestos abatement workers (LiUNA Ontario Provincial District Council): Strike for three days, before reaching a settlement with the Ontario Association of Demolition Contractors on May 24.
- Low rise tim workers (Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario) remain on strike against the Trim Association of Ontario (TAO)
- Residential dwellers also continued their strike.
In a variation between the residential and institutional, commercial and industrial sectors, the strikes will have to end by mid-June and the two sides will be required to enter into compulsory arbitration under provincial labour legislation.
There isn’t a similar cap on the “strike season” in the non-residential side of the industry.
Image: LiUNA ratification vote at the Toronto Congress Centre, May 24 (from LiUNA Facebook page.)