Sheet Metal Workers’ Union negotiations resume: Hope for settlement as strike approaches third month

parker roland swmia local 30
Sheet Metals Local 30 member Parker Roland at the J C Rogers picket line yesterday.. The image "showed us what we are here on the line fighting for," the union local reported on its Facebook page

Negotiations have resumed between representatives of the Ontario Sheet Metal Contractors Association (OSMCA) and the Ontario Sheet Metal Workers’ and Roofers’ Conference (OSMWRC), bringing hope that the nearly two-month sheet metal workers’ strike may be coming to a conclusion.

“Negotiations today carried on to almost 9:00 p.m.,” the negotiators reported late Thursday on the Facebook page for Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association (SMWIA) Local 30 in Toronto. “There was significant progress made at the Local level.”

The note said negotiations would resume at 8:30 a.m. today. Meanwhile, SMWIA Ottawa Local 47 has postponed its regular monthly meeting today because its business agent Floyd Cunning “has been called to Toronto” for negotiations.

The industrial, commercial and institutional sheet metal workers are the only significant labour group striking since the annual three-year construction contract cycle began at the beginning of May. The union says employers have been insisting that it accept a 40 hour work week at some locals which have a 36-hour work week, and the union asserts that they also are seeking to force mandatory “naming” rights on workers, decreasing the union’s hiring hall power.

In an interview, OSMCA executive director Darryl Stewart told Ontario Construction News that employers are struggling with a labour shortage and high overtime costs in certain areas of the province, especially in Toronto, and have sought a work hours extension if the union cannot provide enough workers to fill demand. Employers also say with the exception of Kingston, they are happy with the current “naming” rights but would like the union’s hiring hall rules documented in the contract to ensure everyone is treated fairly.


  1. The Labour shortage in the Sheet Metal Trade was caused by the contractors last 3 contracts. We have taken concessions and low monetary increases due to looming recessions. This time we are at 99 % employment. Give the last true craft trade what they deserve. This is about corporate greed and mismanagement by the contractors. They could end the labour shortage by bringing Sheet Metal Workers wages up to par with the other Mechanical trades. We already give 45 hours a week coverage. Losing 5 hours a week will not solve the problem only compound it. This is now all about certain people’s egos!

  2. We didnt start this ..and will not go backwards,
    The demands of the employer are nothing short of a union busting tactic.
    And other trades beware because they will try this on you next contract!!
    The brothers and sisters of the sheet metal sector have been resilient and will not accept this , all we have ever wanted was a fair contract.
    Other trades are holding on to what we are fighting for (and never had to strike) , proves there is a witchhunt one trade at a time!


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