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Strike involving 15K construction workers could impact residential builds in the GTA: union

Click to play video: 'Thousands of residential construction workers go on strike' Thousands of residential construction workers go on strike
WATCH: A number of residential construction projects across the province could be put on pause as striking begins for roughly 15,000 workers. Brittany Rosen has the latest on negotiations. – May 2, 2022

A strike involving more than 15,000 construction workers could impact residential builds across the Greater Toronto Area, the union representing the workers says.

The Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) Local 183 said Sunday that members in various sectors of the residential construction industry went on strike “in support of fair compensation and workers’ rights.”

Striking workers include those in high-rise forming, self-levelling flooring, house framers, tile installers, railing installers, as well as carpet and hardwood installers.

“Local 183 requested fair compensation for its members given the ongoing increases to the cost of living that is being experienced across Ontario,” the union said.

The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON), an association representing building companies, said the union had rejected an agreement. It said other construction unions had agreed deals.

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“We are encouraged that a number of collective agreements have been settled,” RESCON president Richard Lyall said in a statement. “However, there is no reason for work stoppages, and we hope that the arbitrated settlement will encourage other parties to return to the bargaining table and reach an agreement.”

Read more: Inflation fallout hitting Saskatchewan construction industry

“These are mature collective agreements, some of which have existed for more than 30 years,” Local 183 said. “These workers build high rise and low-rise housing throughout the GTA.”

The union said they want to see the contractors’ associations return to the bargaining table with employment terms that “address the costs of inflation and demands on the sector over the coming years.”

The union said employers in other construction sectors and in other parts of the residential construction sector offered employment terms that “better reflected the cost of living” and anticipated inflation.

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— With files from Global News’ Isaac Callan

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