• March 26, 2014 2:40 PM

Windsor Construction Leaders Join Alliance Committed to Combat the Ontario College of Trades

Heavy Construction Association of Windsor and LiUNA 625 have joined Ontario Skilled Trades Alliance

WINDSOR, ON, March 26, 2014 /CNW/ - Two local construction groups in Windsor have joined the Ontario Skilled Trades Alliance (OSTA) out of frustration with the flawed and abusive implementation of the Ontario College of Trades and its move to make carpentry a compulsory trade.

"The Ontario Skilled Trades Alliance is pleased to welcome the Heavy Construction Association of Windsor and LiUNA Local 625 to our group," said Karen Renkema, Chair of the OSTA. "The College of Trades has moved to license carpenters, which will only create barriers to job creation for our members. Our Alliance is giving a strong voice to our members and tradespeople to bring the issues they face to the forefront of government decision making and advocate for better leadership from the Ontario government."

The addition of the Heavy Construction Association of Windsor and LiUNA Local 625 brings the membership of the OSTA to 41 members.

"It is a significant step to have LiUNA Local 625 as the first labour group to formally join our cause. It has long been the view of the OSTA that the Ontario College of Trades is failing in its mandate by only serving the interests of a narrow group of unions. Local 625's on-the-ground experience on the Windsor-Essex Parkway Project made those fears real. The hardworking men and women of Local 625 were pushed out of work and their employer fined by College bureaucrats for no reason. This was the final straw and we are committed to helping LiUNA more effectively bring forward its concerns to the Ontario government," said Renkema.      

The Liberal government opened the doors of its multi-million new trades bureaucracy last spring. Ontario apprentices, journeypersons and their employers are being forced to pay membership fees to the Ontario College of Trades and participate in bureaucratic process that are disrupting on the job work. To make matters worse, the College of Trades is preparing to make it even harder to work in the trades by requiring compulsory certification for all Ontario carpenters. This will mean any carpenter, working anywhere in Ontario, will need a licence to pick up a hammer, plus will have to fork over money every year to the government for a piece of paper in order to find work or even to keep the job they have already.

"Tradespeople across the province are joining together to call on the Liberal Government to put an end to the trades tax and College of Trades," said Renkema, who is also the Chair of the campaign. "The College is creating barriers on jobs for tradespeople due to ridiculous bureaucratic processes and heavy-handed enforcement of jurisdictional disputes. With a potential election in the offing, we call on all tradespeople to join the fight to stop the job-killing College of Trades and its tax."

The OSTA is the founder and sponsor of the Stop The Trades Tax campaign.  The campaign launched in 2011 and has grown to represent more than 8,500 small, medium and large Ontario businesses and over 130,000 skilled tradespeople across the province. The campaign is supported by tradespeople and business owners who fix our cars and roads, cut our hair, and build and renovate our homes and hospitals.

SOURCE Stop the Trades Tax

For further information: Jessica Georgakopoulos, jessica@teamplaybook.ca, 416-994-7901; Karen Renkema, Ontario Skilled Trades Alliance chair, krenkema@pcac.ca, 416-768-4848