Ontario Building Trades affirm zero tolerance for racism in construction

After several nooses were discovered at Toronto construction sites in June, the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario (PBCTCO) has released a statement to affirm there is zero tolerance for racism in construction. 

“There is no place for racist activity on any construction site in Ontario,” said Patrick Dillon, Business Manager of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario (PBCTCO). “Recent events in Toronto have reminded us that there is more work to do in fighting racism and promoting a more inclusive culture.” 

“The Ontario Building Trades Council has zero tolerance for any form of racism or intimidation,” Dillon said. “These hate crimes do not reflect the hardworking women and men who work together to build a better Ontario.”

“The construction industry is working hard to be inclusive and representative of all Ontarians, and is proud of the efforts made to include new Canadians and underrepresented communities,” Dillon said. “Our workplace should be free of racial discrimination and we will work with employers to create a safe environment for workers.”

“Our members build an Ontario for everyone’s benefit regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or ability. An attack on one community is an attack on all of us,” stated Dillon. “Recent events both in Canada and the United States have highlighted the need for more work to deal with systemic racism, especially anti-black racism. We need to do more and the Ontario Building Trades are ready to work with employers and community organizations to find solutions that make our communities better, healthier and more inclusive.”

The Council’s Statement of Principles on Workplace Equity states that:

The Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario is committed to striving for racial equality and worker solidarity. Discriminatory actions, including acts of intimidation in the construction workplace, are completely unacceptable and the Council has a zero tolerance policy towards such acts. The Building Trades fight for, and continue to advance the collective interests of workers which can only be achieved when workers feel safe at work. Securing workplaces free from harassment, intimidation, and discrimination of any worker based on his or her ancestry, race, religion, or any other difference, is the goal of the Council. Diversity enriches our communities and respectful workplaces are a key ingredient to an inclusive society.  

Dillon went on to say, “With respect to the incidents that took place on construction sites in Toronto, the Provincial Building Trades Council supports a full investigation and appropriate prosecution of those involved in these cowardly acts.”

PBCTO represents 150,000 trades workers throughout the province.


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