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June 27, 2019

Toronto council decision to add single union to exclusive construction deals challenged in court



As reported in The Star, a legal challenge over which unions can work on certain municipal construction projects has been filed against the City of Toronto, following a controversial council vote on the matter last week.

The Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) — supported by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada, and Merit Open Shop Contractors Association — said it filed the challenge in the wake of council’s decision to add the Laborers’ International Union of North American (LIUNA) to the list of unions it employs on municipally funded work in the industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) sector.

Councillors voted on June 19 to add LIUNA to the list of nine unions it currently works with on ICI projects, while also opting out of provincial legislation that would have allowed the city to walk away from its agreements with the nine unions, which were forged in the 1970s.

“The LIUNA Resolution grants LIUNA a privilege not offered to other labour unions thereby imposing an unauthorized distinction on members of the same class,” according to the legal challenge, filed in Ontario Superior Court, which alleges that the resolution is not supported by any existing legislation.

“The LIUNA Resolution undermines the integrity and competitiveness of the City’s procurement policies without any rational justification,” according to the court filing.

The application, under section 214 of the City of Toronto Act, asks that the LIUNA resolution be quashed.

Keep reading in The Star


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