Canada

Some construction workers ratify deal to head back to work


Still, some 15,000 carpenters to remain off the job well into next week

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Thousands of construction workers and crane operators will soon be back on the job after voting in favour of a new three-year contract after a weeks-long strike.

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“The strike is now over and Local 183 members working in the Formwork Sector can return to work,” said the Labourers International Union of North American local 183.

Some 15,000 of its members of the Labourers International Union of North America (LIUNA) and the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) have been off the job for better wages at a time of surging inflation.

The labourers fill all kinds of roles in residential construction: in high rise, self-levelling flooring, as house framers, tile installers, and carpet and hardwood installers.

Their new deal runs from May 21, 2022 to April 30, 2025.

It comes with an increase of $9 an hour over three years.

Operators’ wages will rise by $3 an hour each year.

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“Though this was a challenging round of negotiations, we are very pleased that our members have voted in favour of accepting the employers’ last offer,” said Virgil Nosé, Chair of the High-rise Forming Council.

“Our members will be returning to work right away.”

The ratified deals came as a relief to the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON).

“This is a signal that hopefully we are coming to the end,” said Andrew Pariser, Vice-President, RESCON.

“Ending the strikes is a huge step. I think the next step now is remobilizing.”

Two other trades associated with LIUNA have ratification votes scheduled for Saturday and for May 28.

And thousands of workers with the Carpenters District Council of Ontario (CDCO) remain off the job.

Dozens were picketing early Friday morning outside Woodbine Racetrack.

Member of the striking Carpenters District Council of Ontario – Rokhaya Gueye – speaks at a morning picket line at Woodbine Racetrack. Scott Laurie/Toronto Sun
Member of the striking Carpenters District Council of Ontario – Rokhaya Gueye – speaks at a morning picket line at Woodbine Racetrack. Scott Laurie/Toronto Sun Photo by Scott Laurie /Toronto Sun

“This is the first strike the carpenters have had in 34 years,” said Mike Yorke, CDCO President.

Most of the 15,000 carpenters off the job work on industrial, commercial and residential projects.

After weeks without negotiations, the CDCO expect talks to resume next Tuesday for three days.

It has been feared the labour disruptions in construction would delay big industrial projects as well as critical residential building.



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