Closed Tendering Hurts Local Workers
Citizens of Toronto are barred from working on projects in their own backyard
On Friday, March 15, Colin deRaaf attended a meeting at Hinton Scaffold Solutions to hear and discuss concerns regarding work procurement in the GTA.
Hinton is a CLAC signatory that employs many members of the black community in the GTA. However, this company has been shut out of many public projects due to the monopoly held by the building trades unions. This in spite of the fact that Hinton’s workforce meets the needs of many community benefits agreements, which seek to employ individuals from underrepresented groups and from the local area.
Omar Miller, owner of Hinton, set up this meeting with representatives from the City of Toronto, CLAC, Wanda Thomas Bernard (senator from Nova Scotia who is an advocate for black Canadians),and North East Area Development Inc. (a community development organization). The goal was to raise awareness of the barriers faced by companies that seek to bid on jobs in the GTA and how this not only increases costs through decreased competition, but shuts local workers out of the economy.
While some of these barriers will be removed with the passage of Bill 66, public entities that are currently unionized by the building trades can choose to remain so, while other public entities may continue their practice of single-source procurement.
Through meetings like this, our hope is that public entities realize the need to open up procurement—not only to save money, but to give all qualified workers a chance to work on projects in their neighbourhoods.