Ontario Construction News staff writer
Labourers and the company that conducts underground utilities location in Ottawa have reached a contract agreement avoiding labour disruption with a Nov. 1 strike deadline.
“I have heard unofficially that Promark’s locators voted in favour of the latest proposal. Nothing has been released officially by the union or Promark yet,” Kathryn Sutherland, executive director of the National Capital Heavy Construction Association (NCHCA) wrote in an email today.
“Promark has advised that they were going to be back at the table with the union yesterday and that the union has agreed to allow the workers to work through the negotiations,” she wrote in an earlier email.
The association had been concerned that, if the strike occurred, it would cause significant problems for Ottawa’s road building and construction industry.
NCHCA president Paul Lemire said in a Monday (Oct. 31) memo to members that members of Labourers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) Local 527 will be in a “strike position” on Tuesday after negotiations broke down with Promark-Telecom after a vote on Oct. 29.
“Not only will this exacerbate the current late locate delivery issues, this is the same labour union as our industry’s labourers and there is agreement that labourers won’t cross picket lines which may bring projects to a standstill,” Lemire wrote.
In the event of a strike, “Promark has indicated that it will continue to support emergency and high priority tickets,” he wrote. “Please direct requests for high priority tickets to Tyler Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org.”