Labor Unrest in Ontario Leads to Construction Delays
Labor unrest in Ontario could lead to construction delays during the busiest time of the year for building in the province. On Monday (5-9-22), members of Ontario chapter of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America began a strike action at 12:01 a.m. after voting to reject their employers’ last offer on May 5.
Fifteen thousand carpenters in the industrial, commercial, and instructional (ICI) sector walked off the job, joining thousands of crane operators and 15,000 other residential construction workers who walked off the job last week.
Mike Yorke, president of the Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario, noted that the union hasn’t been on strike in the ICI sector for 34 years. “Right now, it’s all down to financial compensation,” Yorke said. “When you’re looking at the cost of living, the affordability crisis, everything that our members need to survive, there’s a huge gap there between what they need and what’s on the table.”
The Carpenters’ Employer Bargaining Agency (CEBA), a provincially designated employer negotiating committee made up of six employer organizations, said in a statement on Monday that it is disappointed in the strike action. “We worked diligently to avoid this outcome by directly and fairly negotiating with representatives of the union,” CEBA said. “These negotiations resulted in province-wide settlements that were agreed upon by all the carpenters’ locals, who also recommended these settlements to their membership for ratification.”
“CEBA said it negotiated in “good faith,” is committed to bargaining, and “any suggestion to the contrary would simply not be factual.” The agency said it hopes to talk to the unions to figure out the best way to resolve the labor dispute.
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