MISSISSAUGA, ON, Oct. 2, 2013 /CNW/ - Bill 74, the Fairness and Competitiveness in Ontario's Construction Industry Act, 2013, is a vital piece of legislation required to maintain a fair and competitive Institutional Commercial and Industrial (ICI) market in Ontario's construction industry.
"A court's decision isn't enough to settle this matter. Our company and the Ontarians we employ face considerable uncertainty and the possibility of being unable to compete in our own province. That's just not right," said Geoff Smith, president and CEO of EllisDon Corporation. "Bill 74 is about Ontario construction jobs. We are an Ontario company that has, for over 60 years, used unionized sub-trades and tradespeople in large numbers on our projects. Without Bill 74, our company's ability to compete against foreign and other construction firms who rely heavily on non-unionized workers will be in question."
Although EllisDon's position was recently upheld in an Ontario Divisional Court ruling on September 27, 2013, a number of threats remain if Bill 74 is not passed. Other unions are expected to launch actions before the Ontario Labour Relations Board in an effort to reargue the case or assert claims that would leave EllisDon operating under a cloud of uncertainty. The Plumbers union has already delivered numerous grievances to EllisDon asserting bargaining rights based on the disputed Sarnia Working Agreement, and have given no indication they will not pursue those in the same manner.
EllisDon's has also received notice from lawyers for the union that they intend to file a Notice of Motion with the Court, seeking leave to appeal the Ontario Divisional Court's ruling.
As a result of an OLRB decision released on February 13, 2012, EllisDon had faced a significant and unfair competitive disadvantage in bidding for industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) contracts outside of Toronto. EllisDon is the only company immediately impacted by the loophole in construction law, and the company has been advocating maintaining the status-quo so that it would not be placed at a competitive disadvantage when the OLRB's ruling was scheduled to take effect in February, 2014.
Bill 74 would remove any uncertainty and settle this issue permanently, ensuring that EllisDon is never placed in such a position again.
EllisDon is an employee-owned company that completes in excess of $3.1 billion in new construction annually and delivers construction expertise to clients throughout the world. The company offers not only construction and project management services but now a growing range of construction services in risk management, sustainability and technology. For more information, please visit www.ellisdon.com.
SOURCE: EllisDon Corporation
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