Ford gets it right with this change in labour law
Regular readers will know we’re not huge fans of much of Doug Ford’s conservative agenda. But his government has gotten some things right, and this week it did so again with labour law changes that could save Hamilton taxpayers millions.
One change contained in an omnibus bill introduced this week means that the City of Hamilton would no longer be bound by a labour board decision granting exclusive rights to all city carpentry work to members and affiliates of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.
That deal effectively gave the union a monopoly over city work, and ensured there would be limited or no competition. The jurisdictional victory was legitimate when rendered back in 2005, but from a taxpayer benefit and common sense perspective it never made sense. Why eliminate competition for carpentry work paid for with public money?
Local politicians say that the change will open up bidding to a much wider field of potential contractors. Under the current rules, non-unionized contractors, or those affiliated with different unions, are excluded from even entering a bid.
The Ontario Federation of Labour has a different view, arguing that allowing non-union hiring will jeopardize safety and quality.
To suggest that only union shops have qualified workers is demeaning and unsupportable. Let the unionized companies bid and let other qualified bidders do the same. That’s fair, and the best outcome for the people paying the bills.