DATE: September 28, 2012
Winnipeg—Project labour agreements for large provincially funded construction projects that exclude certain unions and favour unions affiliated with the Building Construction Trades Council violate workers’ rights.
“The Manitoba Labour Relations Act allows workers to be represented by a union of their choice,” says Geoff Dueck Thiessen, CLAC Manitoba director. “When a project owner enters into a project labour agreement with a union requiring workers to be members of that union as a condition of employment, that’s a violation of the act, as well as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees freedom of association.”
CLAC adopted a resolution at its National Convention, held recently in Vancouver, petitioning the Manitoba government to end the practice and permit competitive bidding of all qualified construction contractors for provincially funded construction projects.
In the past, the government believed project labour agreements were necessary to guarantee labour stability. But CLAC has represented hundreds of construction workers in Manitoba and thousands across the country who have successfully worked on large industrial projects, including massive oilsands facilities, venues for the Vancouver Winter Olympics, and major infrastructure projects.
“We’ve been part of different models that ensure labour stability while at the same time respecting workers’ right to choose which union they want to belong to,” says Dueck Thiessen. ”Workers, industry, and society are better served when unions have to compete for the hearts and minds of workers.”
Call one of our knowledgeable regional reps today to start the process of transforming your workplace into one marked by progressive labour relations.