Local carpenters among the 15,000 construction workers provincewide on strike

am800-news-file-photo-picket-lines

15,000 construction workers in Ontario are now on strike. 

The Carpenters' District Council of Ontario Local 494 says members across the province voted 75% in favour of rejecting the employers latest contract offer and those in the Industrial, Commercial, Institutional sector hit the picket lines this morning. 

LIUNA says that those participating in the labour action include house framers, tile installers, carpet and hardwood installers and individuals who are involved with high rise forming work.

President of Carpenters and Joiners Local 494, Shawn Remi, says there's between 30 and 80 jobs impacted in the Windsor-Essex area, from small commercial tenant fitouts to the port of entry portion of the Gordie Howe International crossing.

"What it boils down to is the wages aren't keeping in line with the massive inflation increases in the area. The members spoke very clearly that they were not happy with what was offered to them," he said.

Remi says they've had nothing but positive feedback from people in the community so far, and they really just want the employers to come back to the bargaining table.

"There is literally nothing without a carpenter. There's no foundation for them to put their structure on, there's no doors on the building, there's no interior walls frame for electrical, plumbing and mechanical to run all of their portions of the projects. There's no parapets for roofs to go on the buildings, and there's nobody there to put in the doors to turn over the keys."

Given that importance and the massive amount of work out there right now, he can't see the current strike lasting very long.

"I know there's been 120 school renovation projects released that need to be completed throughout the summer," he continued. "A couple of larger projects at the University of Windsor and St. Clair College. These businesses or institutions are going to want their facilities open for September 1st, and the longer that we're off, the further behind that the projects get."

According to CP24, there are approximately 30 unionized trades that work in residential construction and all of their collective agreements expired on April 30.

Officials from Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority told AM800 news on Friday that the strike activity is not impacting work on the Gordie Howe International Bridge project.