April 11, 2006 15:38 ET


Universal Workers Union, Contractor Associations and Community Leaders Attention: Business/Financial Editor, City Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 11, 2006) - The Universal Workers Union, Local 183, its management partners and community leaders today announced plans to hold a rally on Friday, April 21st. Tony Dionisio, Business Manager for Local 183 advised that "a friendly rally will be held at Queen's Park to convince both MPs and MPPs to stop the deportation of undocumented workers and to fix the broken immigration system."

Mr. Dionisio noted that a similar precedent occurred with a previous conservative federal government in the late 1980's when then Immigration Minister Barbara McDougall helped to expedite the processing of applications for immigrants. Dionisio is calling for "an industry committee to help the federal government identify labour needs and then to fast-track applications of those undocumented workers who are needed on construction sites across the Greater Toronto Area and across Canada."

Richard Lyall, President of RESCON, an association representing residential builders in Ontario stated that "the current skilled trade shortage will only get worse, especially with the high demand for workers in western Canada, baby boom retirements and a continuing strong housing market." Also in support at today's event were representatives from major contractor associations involved in new construction: Joe DeCaria, Jack Prazeres, Luciano Fiorini, Harold Piccininni, and Ernesto Arduini (masonry, framing carpentry, formwork).

Lyall added that it makes no sense to deport workers out of Canada when such shortages exist: "Canada will then have to attract foreign workers to fill the demand for skilled trades." Countries such as Australia recognize that demographic forecasts are not positive and are therefore aggressively recruiting in overseas markets. In this regard, he believes that "Canada is already falling behind in dealing with immigration in a strategic way."

Thousands of supporters are expected at the rally to be held on Friday, April 21st, 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon. Guest speakers include (tentatively): Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, Vaughan Mayor Michael Di Biase, and community leaders from the Polish, Latin American, Turkish and other communities. /For further information: Local 183 Head Office 416 241-1183/ IN: INTERNATIONAL, LABOUR, MEDIA, POLITICS, OTHER

Contact Information

  • Andy Manahan, Development Promotion Representative
    Primary Phone: 416-243-6511
    E-mail: amanahan@local183.ca