Negotiations have resumed between representatives of the Ontario Sheet Metal Contractors Association (OSMCA) and the Ontario Sheet Metal Workers’ and Roofers’ Conference (OSMWRC), bringing hope that the nearly two-month sheet metal workers’ strike may be coming to a conclusion.
“Negotiations today carried on to almost 9:00 p.m.,” the negotiators reported late Thursday on the Facebook page for Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association (SMWIA) Local 30 in Toronto. “There was significant progress made at the Local level.”
The note said negotiations would resume at 8:30 a.m. today. Meanwhile, SMWIA Ottawa Local 47 has postponed its regular monthly meeting today because its business agent Floyd Cunning “has been called to Toronto” for negotiations.
The industrial, commercial and institutional sheet metal workers are the only significant labour group striking since the annual three-year construction contract cycle began at the beginning of May. The union says employers have been insisting that it accept a 40 hour work week at some locals which have a 36-hour work week, and the union asserts that they also are seeking to force mandatory “naming” rights on workers, decreasing the union’s hiring hall power.
In an interview, OSMCA executive director Darryl Stewart told Ontario Construction News that employers are struggling with a labour shortage and high overtime costs in certain areas of the province, especially in Toronto, and have sought a work hours extension if the union cannot provide enough workers to fill demand. Employers also say with the exception of Kingston, they are happy with the current “naming” rights but would like the union’s hiring hall rules documented in the contract to ensure everyone is treated fairly.