The IBEW CCO applauds Toronto City Council for its June 20 decision to opt out of Bill 66, ensuring a continued relationship that allows our highly skilled electricians to continue to deliver professional and safe service that benefits both the public and workers.
The provincial government introduced omnibus legislation, known as Bill 66, last December. The legislation automatically deems municipalities, school boards, hospitals and universities as non-construction employers, opening bidding on construction contracts to other companies.
However, the provincial government amended Bill 66 in March, giving municipalities and other public entities the choice of opting out of the new rules and maintaining its current agreements.
Toronto councillors voted 20-4 in favour of retaining the city’s status as an employer bound to nine trade unions with collective agreements in the industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) sector. The decision further strengthens the important relationship held between the city and IBEW electricians as well as other construction unions.
“Toronto councillors voted in favour of safety, reliability and professionalism. This decision demonstrates the trust that the construction unions have earned after decades of service in this city,” said James Barry, Executive Chairman of IBEW CCO.
“IBEW Local 353 enjoys a long history in Toronto. We were chartered in 1903 and have grown into the largest IBEW Local in Canada. Our history parallels that of Toronto, which has also grown into the largest city in Canada and the best place to in the world to live,” said Steve Martin, Business Manager of Local 353.
Both Martin and Barry agree that this outcome helps to ensure continued high standards of safety and eliminates the potential risks to the public of unqualified and untrained workers building key infrastructure in the city.
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