Office of the Mayor
City Hall, 2nd Floor
100 Queen St., W.
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
Dear Mayor Tory,
I am the Business Manager of Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, and I am writing to you to express my profound disappointment with the City of Toronto’s Chief Engineer Michael D’ Andrea’s letter to General Contractors, which has been forwarded to my attention.
In his letter, Mr. D’Andrea advises that contractors emphasize on deadlines and suggested that contractors breach collective agreement obligations in order to adhere to contract schedules.
Dated March 20, 2020, Mr. D’Andrea wrote:
“The City considers the management of existing contracts a priority …. It is the expectation of the City that contractors abide by the terms and conditions of the contract, which includes adherence to contract schedules … We expect general contractors to make best efforts to mitigate any delays and losses as these issues arise by seeking alternative sources of labour … “
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is completely unacceptable. It is an insult that Mr. D’Andrea would take such a cavalier attitude of disrespect to our hard-working members during this public health crisis.
While many people are working from home, as directed by the federal government, members of IUOE Local 793 and LiUNA are working hard on construction jobsites under difficult circumstance. They should not be made to fear that they will lose their job to non-union individuals; individuals who would be forced to work in unsafe conditions without the proper training or personal protective equipment that our signatory contractors and unions provide.
We object to the complete disregard of workers’ health and safety and the disrespect to the members of LIUNA and IUOE Local 793 that was exhibited in Mr. D’Andrea’s callous and arrogant letter. We demand it be retracted and made clear that workers’ health and safety will be the city’s number one priority.
In these unprecedented circumstances, our membership and our contractors deserve praise on behalf of the City for their efforts and for risking their health in a pandemic. As Mayor, I hope you are able to rise to the occasion and acknowledge our memberships’ dedication.
Mike Gallagher, Local 793 Business Manager
IUOE International Vice-President
Mr. Patrick Dillon, Business Manager – Provincial Building Trades Council of Ontario
Mr. James St. John, Business Manager – Central Ontario Building Trades
Mr. Jack Oliveira, Business Manager – LiUNA Local 183 & LiUNA OPDC
Mr. Carmen Principato, Business Manager – LiUNA Local 506
Mr. Joseph Mancinelli, Labourers International Vice President
Mr. Michael D’Andrea, Chief Engineer – City of Toronto