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News Release: Merit Ontario Slams Wages Bill

Merit Ontario Slams Wages Bill 

Compensation should be based on merit

Toronto—Merit Ontario strongly opposes the Government Contract Wages Act, 2018 (BILL 53) introduced by Kathleen Wynne. The legislation will impose a labour monopoly for construction in Ontario, undermine a healthy construction labour market, and force Ontario taxpayers to incur inflated costs for construction projects. This legislation will also increase costs for ordinary hardworking Ontarians which leads to higher taxes and fewer schools and hospitals.

This is another cynical attempt by the Wynne Government to introduce legislation that will have negative impacts without industry consultation on the eve of an election. At the same time, “Schedule 14,” buried deep in the budget bill, favours the Carpenter’s Union over LIUNA and takes away important bargaining rights for workers in Ontario.

These types of regulated wage laws increase costs for taxpayers without providing benefits in return. This legislation will hinder the ability of small and medium size open shop construction companies to efficiently perform work on public construction projects. The resulting decrease in competition will hurt workers and taxpayers.

“Our members believe that construction contracts, employment, and individual compensation should be based on merit, regardless of employee affiliation,” said Michael Gallardo of Merit Ontario. “Polices that regulate wages in construction are simply an attempt to impose a union monopoly with no regard to market forces.”

“Bill 53 and Schedule 14 are, together, a cynical move by Wynne to enhance her slight electoral chances,” said Gallardo. “She’s not interested in ‘fair wages,’ she’s interested in her re-election."

Merit Ontario employees are well paid, highly trained, and operate with safety as their number one priority. Regulated minimum wages in construction have a negative impact on employment opportunities on young people and other groups that are under-represented in the construction trades, such as women and First Nations.

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About Merit Ontario

The Merit OpenShop Contractors Association of Ontario is a member driven organization representing Ontario’s open shop construction sector. We advocate and support sound legislation and regulation which is fair to both employers and employees in the areas on labour relations, apprenticeship training, worker’s compensation, and safety. We believe that fiscal responsibility is the obligation of all branches of government, and, accordingly, that government should award contracts to the lowest bidder qualified to perform the work.