Largest Construction Labour Union in Ontario Joins Alliance Committed to Fight the College of Trades

LiUNA has joined the Stop the Trades Tax campaign

TORONTO, March 28, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the largest construction labour union LiUNA, and all its affiliated locals, broke ranks from other labour groups and joined the Stop the Trades Tax campaign to combat the Ontario Government's College of Trades out of frustration with its implementation.

"We were originally supportive of the notion, in principle, of the College of Trades to be an institution that would promote skilled trades, and apprenticeship to young people and would facilitate a conversation around skilled trades," said Cosmo Mannella, Business Manager of LiUNA Ontario Provincial District Council. "However, the College has demonstrated that this is not what it is. It has proven itself to be a completely reckless institution that is threatening jobs, and creating barriers for those already employed in the skilled trades. Our tradespeople have succeeded through learning practical skills on the job and being forced to write an exam, after many years of skilled employment, will only create barriers for them to thrive."

The Liberal government opened the doors of its multi-million dollar new trades bureaucracy last spring. Ontario apprentices are journeypersons are being forced to pay membership fees to the Ontario College of Trades. To make matters worse, the College of Trades is preparing to make it even harder to work in the trades by enacting an agenda that includes broad-based compulsory certification for all Ontario trades. This will mean any tradesperson, working anywhere in Ontario, will need a licence to pick up a hammer, install drywall, amongst many other things, plus will have to fork over more 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.

"The Stop the Trades Tax Campaign is pleased to welcome LiUNA to our group. It has long been the view of the Stop the Trades Tax Campaign that the Ontario College of Trades is failing in its mandate by only serving the interests of a narrow group of unions and killing jobs and hurting trades people," said Karen Renkema, Chair of Ontario Skilled Trades Alliance and the Stop The Trades Tax campaign.  "LiUNA joining our opposition to the College of Trades demonstrates the growing divide amongst labour groups on the issue of the College and the increasing opposition to this job-killing bureaucracy."     

The Stop The Trades Tax campaign was launched in 2011 to stop the Ontario government from imposing a new, multi-million dollar trades tax on tradespeople and employers. The campaign has grown to 39 organizations, whose members represent over 195,000 skilled tradespeople and over 8,000 businesses across Ontario. For more information please visit www.stopthetradestax.ca

SOURCE Stop the Trades Tax

For further information: Jessica Georgakopoulos, jessica@teamplaybook.ca, 416-994-7901; Karen Renkema, Stop the Trades Tax Campaign chair, krenkema@pcac.ca, 416-768-4848.