CLAC Applauds Manitoba Government's Proposed Public Sector Construction Projects (Tendering) Act
Winnipeg—CLAC applauds the Manitoba government for introducing legislation that makes it illegal to require forced unionization of workers on publicly owned construction projects.
CLAC is a nonpartisan, alternative trade union that represents all workers in every construction trade. Its members and signatory contractors have been shut out of work on publicly funded construction projects because of the government’s use of restrictive project labour agreements (PLAs), which require employees to join a Building Trades Union to be eligible to work on public infrastructure projects.
The proposed act would end this violation of workers’ charter right to freedom of association by allowing all workers and contractors to work and bid on public construction projects regardless of union affiliation.
“Our union members and our signatory contractors should have equal access to work on public projects,” says Geoff Dueck Thiessen, CLAC Winnipeg regional director. “For many years, they have not had that access.
“Previous projects have required our members to forego their legal right to choose a union, and have also limited the number of companies bidding on projects. This can lead to various problems, including cost escalations, which should concern the public that ultimately pays for these projects.
“This legislation levels the playing field with respect to worker choice and provides better value for taxpayers.”