CBTU Applauds the Federal Government on New Legislation

Ottawa, ON – Canada’s Building Trades Unions is celebrating the passage of key legislation this week which delivers major wins for Canadian skilled trades workers, and workers across the country. This week saw final votes on Bills C-59, which implemented the Investment Tax Credits, C-50, the Sustainable Jobs Act, and C-58, which introduced a federal ban on replacement workers.

“The Investment Tax Credits are a game-changer for our workers. Now, investments in the clean economy are tied to strong, union-negotiated wages for construction workers, as well as opportunities for apprentices,”says Sean Strickland, Executive Director of Canada’s Building Trades Unions, “The Investment Tax Credits have the strongest definition of prevailing wage in Canadian labour history. This is a tremendous win for all workers in the construction industry.”

The Investment Tax Credits contained in C-59 will be available on eligible projects in the clean energy sector to employers who meet labour conditions, including requiring 10% of work hours on projects to be performed by apprentices, and for all workers to be paid the prevailing wage based on the multi-employer collective bargaining agreements that Canada’s Building Trades Unions’ affiliates negotiate. The passage of the Sustainable Jobs Act, C-50, will also see more involvement from unions as the transition to the clean economy moves ahead.

“Our members have genuine concerns that the transition away from the carbon economy could mean they may have a harder time finding work. What this legislation does is put the voices of workers at the decision-making table as we navigate the transition to a cleaner, greener economy. Our members are already at work today building that clean economy, from EV battery plants to wind, solar, hydroelectric, and nuclear – we’re already building it green. This legislation will mean that our workers will have a real voice as we embark on this transition, ensuring that no skilled trades worker, and no construction worker, is left behind.” said Strickland.

Bill C-58 was also passed into law, with unanimous support from all major parties. The legislation prohibits federally regulated employers from using of replacement workers – scabs – during strikes or lockouts. This long sought-after legislation will improve collective bargaining for workers falling under the federal Canada Labour Code.

“When workers decide to withdraw their labour and strike, these are not decisions not taken lightly. Generally, it’s the last option after all other bargaining approaches have failed. Allowing the use of replacement workers undermines the bargaining power of workers in the negotiation process, and removes the incentive from employers to avoid a strike or lockout,” said Strickland, “We are extremely pleased that the federal government has taken this step to level the playing field for workers and ban the use of replacement workers.

“This is a historic win for Canadian skilled trades workers,” Sean Strickland, Executive Director of Canada’s Building Trades Unions. “On behalf of CBTU, thank you in particular to Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, and Ministers O’Regan, Wilkinson, Boissonnault for their leadership in advancing these significant wins for workers.”


Media Contact

Nathan Carr ncarr@buildingtrades.ca

About CBTU

Canada’s Building Trades Unions are an alliance of 14 international unions in the construction, maintenance and fabrication industries that collectively represent over 600,000 skilled trades workers in Canada. Each year, our unions and our signatory contractor partners invest over $300 million in private sector money to fund and operate over 175 apprenticeship training and education facilities across Canada that produce the safest, most highly trained and productive skilled craft workers found anywhere in the world. Canada’s Building Trades Unions represent members who work in more than 60 different trades and occupations, and generate six per cent of Canada’s GDP. For more information, go to www.buildingtrades.ca.

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