Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario

Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario

October 22, 2010 06:31 ET

More Kipling Avenue tragedies if Fair Wage Policies Scrapped

Building Trades warn voters to reject candidates that put profits ahead of worker safety.

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor WATERLOO, ONTARIO, NEWS RELEASE--(Marketwire - Oct. 22, 2010) - Ahead of the province-wide municipal elections, the Executive Board of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario issued a statement urging voters to support candidates who are committed to upholding Fair Wage policies in their respective municipalities.

"We will have repeats of the Christmas Eve Kipling Avenue tragedy if Fair Wage policies are scrapped" said Patrick Dillon, Business Manager of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario. In that incident, four migrant construction workers were killed, and one seriously injured. "Governments have a duty to set standards and develop policies that protect their citizens, especially when performing taxpayer-funded work."

Fair Wage policies were introduced by various levels of governments to ensure that working people were not exploited performing government-tendered work. In essence, the wages paid to the worker would not be the deciding factor on who won a government contract. This practice raised standards and awareness of health and safety issues by requiring employers bidding on government contracts to hire qualified trades people. In the most recent review of Ontario's Fair Wage conducted by Dr. Morley Gunderson in 2006, the report stated that Fair Wage policies have a positive impact on health and safety and had no discernible impact on project costs.

"Politicians like Toronto mayoralty candidate Rob Ford, at the urging of groups like the Merit Shop Contractors' Association, would push for scrapping Fair Wage policies that would increase their profits with no financial benefit to the City purse, while sending more workers to their grave" said Dillon.

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The Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario is an umbrella organization representing 150,000 tradespeople.
/For further information: Patrick J. Dillon, Business Manager 416-347-8245/ IN: ECONOMY, LABOUR, POLITICS

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