LIUNA Local 183

January 30, 2008 16:31 ET

Ontario Labour Board Decision Crushes CAW-Funded Renegade Construction Union

"Time to cut your losses," LIUNA leaders tell Buzz Hargrove

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 30, 2008) - In a landmark decision issued late Tuesday, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has ruled that the Canadian Construction Workers Union (CCWU) is not a legitimate construction industry union. The ruling voided CCWU's three "voluntary" recognition agreements as well as its applications to displace LIUNA Local 183 as the bargaining agent at a handful of construction companies in and around Toronto.

The decision is a major blow to the Canadian Auto Workers, which had invested more than five million dollars in the CCWU in an effort to establish a front organization that would give the Autoworkers a backdoor entry into the construction industry.

After hearing substantial testimony, the board found that two of the CCWU's voluntary recognitions were from one-person companies - Melo Painting and Olivera Tiles - neither of which were construction employers. The third voluntary recognition was from Felipe Construction, a company owned by Antonio Felipe, brother of CCWU representative (and former LIUNA 183 representative) Joel Felipe.

Evidence showed that Antonio Felipe not only attended the CCWU's founding convention in November 2006 and voted for its constitution and officers, he also required that his only employee join the CCWU, a blatant violation of the Labour Relations Act's prohibition against employer support of a union. The CCWU's only collective agreement was with Felipe Construction to represent this single employee. That agreement has now been thrown out. The Board also disregarded documents produced by the CCWU on the basis that they were fabricated for the purpose of creating a paper trail for the hearing.

The CCWU was set up in November 2006 by disgraced former LIUNA 183 Business Manager Antonio Dionisio and others who had been removed from office after an independent enquiry had found the Dionisio regime guilty of numerous administrative irregularities and incompetent representation. In June 2006, the labour board validated the enquiry's findings and allowed Local 183 to be placed in temporary trusteeship until its finances and administration were put in order. The trusteeship was lifted in September 2007 when membership elections were held.

"In light of this decision, we now call on (CAW President) Buzz Hargrove to finally walk away from this tainted organization," said the new Local 183 Business Manager, Durval Terceira, and Secretary-Treasurer Daniel Avero.

"Stop wasting millions of dollars of CAW members' dues on an ill-advised and completely discredited effort to divide and weaken the Canadian labour movement."

"You backed the wrong horse, Buzz. It's time to cut your losses."

Contact Information

  • LIUNA Local 183
    Durval Terceira
    (416) 241-1183
    LIUNA Local 183
    Daniel Avero
    (416) 241-1183