Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Many of you have been asking about the status of our Formwork Agreement since Local 793 voted in favour of ratification, but our friends at Local 183 turned the offer down. Due to the fact that we are in a council with the Labourers Local Unions, including Local 183, and because Local 183, along with 1059 and us have a “veto” on the council regarding ratifications and strikes, if one of either Local 793, 183 or 1059 fail to vote in favour of ratification, the entire Formwork Agreement remains unratified.
On Tuesday May 21, 2019 the Formwork Council of Ontario convened a meeting to discuss next steps. Local 793 voted in favor of supporting Local 183 members who wished to strike. Local 1059 out of London did not support strike action. Therefore, Local 183’s remaining issues are being submitted to final and binding arbitration. The arbitration will be held on June 14.
Since Local 793 members voted in favor of ratification, we proposed and the OFA agreed that our settlement will not be subject to the arbitration. They have agreed to this same protocol for all of the other LiUNA local unions. This means status quo for everyone except Local 183. It is vital that we protect our best in the industry settlement of $4.25 plus various language improvements. We cannot go backwards and we are not prepared to risk the possibility of losing retro pay.
We were in a similar position back in 2010 when the Labourers Local 183 turned down the proposed settlement. In 2010, the Labourers had a settlement on the table of $3.40 for labourers that was turned down and it went to arbitration. In that round of negotiations Local 793 achieved $3.75 for our Operators. Local 183 was seeking $4.00 from the arbitrator. The Arbitrator upheld the $3.40 settlement.
While it is not a perfect system, we have to navigate the system to the best of our abilities and our number one priority remains protecting our settlement and retro pay. Our focus for the next three years needs to be trying to find a way to overturn the archaic Labour Relations Act Provisions, which restrict our right to strike in the residential sector of the construction industry. Local 793 is committed to exploring all avenues to remove this barrier to a successful strike. As we learn further information, we will update the membership. In the meantime it is business as usual.
Dave Turple • Director of Toronto Area
IUOE Local 793