Special to Ontario Construction News
ICI painters and tapers in Ontario have given notice that they will walk off the job today, June 20, after rejecting the latest contract offer from employers.
The members of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) turned down the proposal in province-wide voting on June 15, according to a post on the IUPAT website. The painters and tapers had previously rejected an offer from the Painters Employer Bargaining Agency and were in a legal strike position after waiting the requisite period from issuance of a no board report by the province.
Painters had been offered a $5 hourly wage increase over three years while tapers rejected a proposal for an $8 an hour total increase over the same period. No new talks have been scheduled and representatives for both sides were not immediately available to comment.
Tapers and painters will join about 500 glaziers working under the provincial ICI collective agreement and also represented by the IUPAT, who went on strike June 13 after negotiations broke off May 31.
The most recent three-year contract for glaziers who cut, install and remove glass on industrial, commercial and institutional sites expired on April 30. “Although our phones are on and we still wish to have a negotiated settlement, it does not look like this will happen in the near future,” the IUPAT said on its website.
Ontario collective agreements covering 25 ICI trades expired on April 30 according to terms of provincial legislation, with a majority of agreements renewed to date, including contracts with carpenters, electricians, plumbers and operating engineers. Ratification voting on proposed agreements affecting a handful of trades including cement masons are underway.
The Ontario construction industry negotiations have taken place against a backdrop of labour shortages in the sector and historic cost of living increases, with workers demanding hourly wage hikes to address what trades unions call a crisis in affordability.