Ontario sheet metal workers on strike
Ontario’s unionized sheet metal workers are on strike after a breakdown in negotiations with their employer bargaining agency. The strike, which reportedly took rolling affect on Monday, May 6, is the result of a disagreement over work week length and use of union hall hiring rolls, the Daily Commercial News reports:
The withdrawal of services began at various worksites on May 6. Darryl Stewart, executive director of the Ontario Sheet Metal Contractors Association (OSMCA), said there were rotating strikes at a handful of shops and the OSMCA offices were targeted on the first day but by the third day (May 8) more shops were hit.
No project sites have been targeted, Stewart said, meaning there were no project stoppages in the first three days. He said picket lines have been “civil.”
“There are no winners in a strike,” said Stewart. “It is not good for anybody. We would rather have kept talking.”
Employers are asking for a five-day work week with eight-hour days; union workers want a four-day week with nine-hour days.
“We have put the word out that we are willing to meet any time but obviously we are not going to take these serious issues off the table, but we are willing to discuss them,” said Stewart to the Daily Commercial News. “The frustrating part for us is that through negotiations there was zero discussion on it. They would refuse to discuss these topics.”