Building Trades Oppose Bill 66: Dillon

TORONTO, April 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The provincial government passed Bill 66, otherwise known as the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2019 which allows municipalities and other public institutions to designate themselves as ‘non-construction employers,’ according to Schedule 9 of the legislation, even though they employ construction workers.

“A fundamental legal issue we have with this legislation is that it gives public entities (the employers) the right to decide if their employees are going to have collective bargaining rights, when the law states that employees have those rights,” said Patrick Dillon, Business Manager of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario.

“Schedule 9 of Bill 66 takes away the collective bargaining rights of those construction workers. The right to band together and to realize collective goals in the workplace should not be tampered with,” explained Dillon.

Bill 66 gives municipalities, universities, hospital boards, school boards, and other public entities the power to decide if they, as employers, want to continue abiding by long-standing Collective Agreements with Building Trades workers. “In our view, whether or not workers choose union representation resulting in collective bargaining is not up to employers, be they public entities or otherwise, but rather solely up to workers,” emphasized Dillon.

“If the government’s stated goal in implementing Bill 66 Schedule 9 was to save public entities’ money with respect to construction activity, then our Council shares that goal and we’re disappointed that the government decided not to insert Project Agreement language in the Bill, as we had suggested during Committee consultations, which would have resulted in a cost-saving mechanism that does not eliminate collective bargaining rights,” Dillon pointed out.

“Our goal is to reduce the precariousness and vulnerability that workers experience and we believe that the Government shares this goal despite its mistakes on Bill 66. We will challenge this legislation through the courts and we will continue to work with the Government to advance issues of balance and fairness for workers,” concluded Dillon.

The Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario represents 150,000 trades workers throughout the province. For more information, please contact Patrick Dillon: 
Cell:                 (416) 347-8245


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