Painters and Allied Trades latest construction union to back PCs ahead of June 2 vote

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford secured another union endorsement Tuesday in response to his government’s support of skilled trades.

The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) joined other major construction-related unions that have already announced endorsements for the PCs.

“At the start of our campaign, I was so proud to once again welcome the support of LiUNA, the largest construction union in North America,” Ford said Tuesday. “Recently, for the first time ever, the Boilermaker union endorsed our party, they got behind our plan for the skilled trades.

“Yesterday, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Worker (IBEW) Construction Council of Ontario announced its full endorsement and today, I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome the support of the painters and allied trades.”

Ford’s campaign has centred on a promise to build highways, public transit, hospitals and housing.

”I’m very excited. It’s great for the trades. It’s great for our painters, our glazers,” said Martin Albert, commercial and residential painting instructor with IUPAT. “You know, it’s a good situation for him to be here now and supporting our trades.”

In a statement IUPAT said “a re-elected Ontario PC government will continue to work collaboratively to support Ontario workers.

“By investing in full and meaningful apprenticeship programs through targeted and initiatives and funding, a re-elected PC government will affect well-paying jobs — including benefits and pension — within Ontario’s housing and critical infrastructure sectors.”

Andrea Horwath, whose New Democrats have historically been the party most closely aligned with unions, said workers should pay attention to the changes in Ford’s tune. She noted Ford has been at loggerheads with OPSEU and other labour groups over legislation passed in 2019 that caps pay raises in the public sector at one per cent or less.

“I don’t change my mind about my support for unions and working people,” Horwath said at a campaign stop on Tuesday. “We’ve seen Mr. Ford attack unions, we’ve seen him attack working people, many, many times. The Conservatives always do that.

“I know who I stand with before elections, during elections and after elections.”

Later in the day, OPSEU came out in support of Horwath.

“We want a government that builds, not breaks, our public services. On June 2nd, vote to stop privatization,” the union tweeted, along with an image containing a “Vote NDP” logo.

The Ontario Federation of Labour, which acts as an umbrella group for unions in Ontario, released an ad last week supporting the NDP.e not backed up with real action.”


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