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Ontario group aims to stop labour “monopolies”


November 25, 2014
By Fair Construction

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Nov. 25, 2014 – The Fair Construction campaign
launched on Thursday,
to
forewarn municipalities that could be targeted next by
construction
labour monopolies

a growing and alarming trend in Southwestern Ontario.

Nov. 25, 2014 – The Fair Construction campaign
launched on Thursday,
to
forewarn municipalities that could be targeted next by
construction
labour monopolies

a growing and alarming trend in Southwestern Ontario.


Our goal is to ensure municipalitie
s know how to reduce their risk, so they aren’t
forced to pay
inflated construction costs,”
said Karen Renkema, Chair of the Fair
Construction campaign.
“When labour monopolies drive up the cost of construction, it
isn’t fair to anyone, especially taxpayers.”

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The Fair Construction campaign is making stops across Southwestern
Ontario to inform
municipalities,
associations, elected officials and industry
about the issue and steps that
can be taken to prevent a
construction
labour monopoly from taking hold in their town,
city or region.

A loophole in the Ontario Labour Relations Act
has allowed
construction
unions to
certify public sector employers, including
Toronto, Hamilton, Sault Ste. Marie, and more
recently the Region of Waterloo
as “construction employers.”
These municipalities
are
subject to a provincial wide collective
agreement
that forces them
to restrict
who they
can contract and hire
for construction projects.
These restrictions:

  • Reduce competition.
    Up
    to 70 percent of qualified companies and workers are
    prevented from competing
    for local projects;
  • Raise costs.
    With less competition,
    m
    unicipalities pay 20 to 30 percent more
    (
    $188 to $283 million
    annually
    )
    for construction projects,
    at a time when all
    levels of government
    are
    looking for ways to stret
    ch their infrastructure dollars.

With competition now restricted in the Region of Waterloo, the pool of companies who
qualify to compete on one of its publically funded projects has shrunk from 9 to 2.

“When
all
qualified companies and
workers are allowed to compete
on
local projects,
regardless of union affiliation, or lack thereof,
we all benefit,” added Renkema.
“Municipalities save money, and taxpayers get good value.
That’s what Fair
Construction is all about.”

For more information
www.fairconstruction.ca


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