local 183 strike 2022

Labour strike means Toronto can temporarily stop whining about construction noise

That nearby construction site has fallen silent and you're actually getting some work done, but don't celebrate too quickly, as 15,000 construction labourers are on strike as of Sunday, grinding residential builds across Ontario to a halt.

Members of Laborers' International Union of North America (LiUNA) Local 183 voted on job action that the union warns "could impact both ground-related and high-rise multi-family residential builds across the GTA," following the rejection of all proposed settlements made by the Contractors' Associations.

Local 183 has requested wage increases to reflect the rising cost of living in the province.

The strike impacts a long list of workers including high-rise forming, self-levelling forming, tile, railing, carpet, and hardwood installers, together representing the core of the high-rise construction industry responsible for the frenetic buildout unfolding across the GTA and beyond.

"The residential sector is amongst the most in-demand industries for the GTA and will continue to be sought after for years to come. They deserve compensation that reflects their contributions to the industry," said Jack Oliveira, LiUNA Local 183 Business Manager.

"Our members work hard and are critical to building housing across the GTA. We're ready to get back to work, but the Contractors' Associations needs to offer a fair proposal that respects our members and the work that they do."

Wages are obviously a critical point in negotiation for Local 183, enough so to call a strike, but that hasn't stopped some from suggesting union members make the best of a bad situation with their unplanned May break.

It means temporary quiet for the condo-complainer crowd, but it also translates to a loss of wages for workers, while detractors warn of higher construction costs if demands are met.

And in an odd coincidence, the job action comes almost exactly 34 years to the day after 10,000 construction electricians went on strike, temporarily halting another significant building boom in Toronto's history.

Local 183 has only just begun its job action, but its Sunday statement came with a call to bring the Contractors' Associations back to the bargaining table to address the union's demands.

Lead photo by

Jeremy Gilbert

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