LABORERS' UNION: Strike Hampers Job Sites



David Scanlan; Citizen

July 30, 1992




The laborers' strike continued to hamper construction projects in the Ottawa area Wednesday, though pickets were set up at only one construction site.


The laborers' union, on strike since Monday, has removed its picket lines across Ontario, targeting only sites where other workers are performing the laborers' tasks.


But work is still being affected because there are no laborers to pour concrete and help other trade workers at the sites.


"Our concrete operation has come to a stop, but all the other activities are under way," said John Stephenson, project manager for Nicolini Construction, which is building the Triple A baseball stadium on Coventry Road.


The sites most affected by the strike are the baseball stadium and the Canada Post building on Riverside Drive. Both projects are at the concrete-pouring stage. Other, less-affected projects include Ottawa City Hall and the Palladium in Kanata.


The only local site picketed Wednesday was on Blair Road in Gloucester, future home of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.


About 10 pickets were at the Blair Road site Wednesday, said Berardino Carrozzi, spokesman for local 527 of the Laborers International Union.


"They should not be doing the work of the laborers. This is a breach of law," Carrozzi said.


Carrozzi said the pickets will stay away from job sites unless laborers' work is being done by other workers.


No talks are planned between the union and provincial contractors. About 8,000 laborers are on strike across Ontario, including about 1,200 in the Ottawa area. The strike only involves laborers who work on industrial, commercial and institutional projects.


The labor dispute is centred on wages and job security. The laborers don't want contractors to hire non-union workers to perform their jobs. The union has requested a raise of $2.70 an hour over three years. The contractors have offered $ 1.75.


The laborers earn between $ 17.50 and $ 24.50 an hour.

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