Tradespeople protest Liberal omnibus bill in Waterdown

News Nov 29, 2016 by Mac Christie Flamborough Review

Skilled workers protested changes to compulsory trades introduced by the Ontario Liberal government outside Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale MPP Ted McMeekin’s Waterdown office Friday.

The workers, mostly electricians, were demonstrating against amendments included in Bill 70, Ontario’s omnibus budget bill. Protesters said the changes would dilute enforcement powers of Ontario College of Trade and devalue a Certification of Qualification and the compulsory trades designation.

International Brotherhood of Electricians business manager Lorne Newick said the protesters see the bill – specifically Schedule 17 of the legislation – as an attack on the compulsory trades.

“It will deregulate the compulsory trade work in the province,” he said. “Allow people that are unqualified, untrained, to carry out certain work that is now done under a compulsory trade licence.”

Newick noted while he is a member of IBEW, the protest isn’t a union issue.

“This is about compulsory trades in the province of Ontario,” he said. “We just happen to be organized, so it’s easier for us to get our members out, but this legislation will affect every compulsory tradesperson in the province, whether they’re in a union or not.

“We’d like to have (Schedule 17) repealed from Bill 70 and sent to committee for review.”

There are currently 22 compulsory trades in Ontario for which a person must be certified or registered as an apprentice and a member of the College to be employed in the trade.

Newick noted they expected a 150 people from Hamilton, Oakville, Burlington, Brantford and the surrounding areas at the protest.

“We wanted to raise awareness to Mr. McMeekin,” Newick added. “We wanted to meet him at his constituency office today…a lot of MPPs are in their offices on Fridays.”

However, he noted, the MPP was not in his office, adding they did not contact him in advance.

“We just showed up,” he said.

McMeekin said he understands the workers' concerns.

“I see the need to inform the trades and make sure that those who have gone about the process of getting the training and becoming competent are recognized and get treated preferentially,” he said. “I guess where the dispute comes in is that some people do general labour and some people do very specific labour – the threat is that some of the general labourers may be taking some of the specific labourers' work.

“I think the best way to get that sorted out is to continue the dialogue.”

McMeekin noted he was at a budget forum on Friday at the Art Gallery of Hamilton,

While the Waterdown protest was the only one of its kind in Ontario on Friday, skilled tradespeople planned a large rally on the lawn at Queen’s Park to take place Nov. 30 at 9:30 a.m.

Later on Friday, steelworkers protested in front of McMeekin’s office in a bid to save their pensions.

McMeekin noted he shares the steelworkers' concerns.

He said ironically, while the steelworkers were protesting in front of his office, he was meeting with Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger about US Steel.

“We have a shared sense of purpose,” he said. “I have the same concerns as they have – how do we come out of this awful situation?”

Tradespeople protest Liberal omnibus bill in Waterdown

Rally against section of Bill 70 planned for Queen's Park Nov. 30

News Nov 29, 2016 by Mac Christie Flamborough Review

Skilled workers protested changes to compulsory trades introduced by the Ontario Liberal government outside Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale MPP Ted McMeekin’s Waterdown office Friday.

The workers, mostly electricians, were demonstrating against amendments included in Bill 70, Ontario’s omnibus budget bill. Protesters said the changes would dilute enforcement powers of Ontario College of Trade and devalue a Certification of Qualification and the compulsory trades designation.

International Brotherhood of Electricians business manager Lorne Newick said the protesters see the bill – specifically Schedule 17 of the legislation – as an attack on the compulsory trades.

“It will deregulate the compulsory trade work in the province,” he said. “Allow people that are unqualified, untrained, to carry out certain work that is now done under a compulsory trade licence.”

Newick noted while he is a member of IBEW, the protest isn’t a union issue.

“This is about compulsory trades in the province of Ontario,” he said. “We just happen to be organized, so it’s easier for us to get our members out, but this legislation will affect every compulsory tradesperson in the province, whether they’re in a union or not.

“We’d like to have (Schedule 17) repealed from Bill 70 and sent to committee for review.”

There are currently 22 compulsory trades in Ontario for which a person must be certified or registered as an apprentice and a member of the College to be employed in the trade.

Newick noted they expected a 150 people from Hamilton, Oakville, Burlington, Brantford and the surrounding areas at the protest.

“We wanted to raise awareness to Mr. McMeekin,” Newick added. “We wanted to meet him at his constituency office today…a lot of MPPs are in their offices on Fridays.”

However, he noted, the MPP was not in his office, adding they did not contact him in advance.

“We just showed up,” he said.

McMeekin said he understands the workers' concerns.

“I see the need to inform the trades and make sure that those who have gone about the process of getting the training and becoming competent are recognized and get treated preferentially,” he said. “I guess where the dispute comes in is that some people do general labour and some people do very specific labour – the threat is that some of the general labourers may be taking some of the specific labourers' work.

“I think the best way to get that sorted out is to continue the dialogue.”

McMeekin noted he was at a budget forum on Friday at the Art Gallery of Hamilton,

While the Waterdown protest was the only one of its kind in Ontario on Friday, skilled tradespeople planned a large rally on the lawn at Queen’s Park to take place Nov. 30 at 9:30 a.m.

Later on Friday, steelworkers protested in front of McMeekin’s office in a bid to save their pensions.

McMeekin noted he shares the steelworkers' concerns.

He said ironically, while the steelworkers were protesting in front of his office, he was meeting with Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger about US Steel.

“We have a shared sense of purpose,” he said. “I have the same concerns as they have – how do we come out of this awful situation?”

Tradespeople protest Liberal omnibus bill in Waterdown

Rally against section of Bill 70 planned for Queen's Park Nov. 30

News Nov 29, 2016 by Mac Christie Flamborough Review

Skilled workers protested changes to compulsory trades introduced by the Ontario Liberal government outside Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale MPP Ted McMeekin’s Waterdown office Friday.

The workers, mostly electricians, were demonstrating against amendments included in Bill 70, Ontario’s omnibus budget bill. Protesters said the changes would dilute enforcement powers of Ontario College of Trade and devalue a Certification of Qualification and the compulsory trades designation.

International Brotherhood of Electricians business manager Lorne Newick said the protesters see the bill – specifically Schedule 17 of the legislation – as an attack on the compulsory trades.

“It will deregulate the compulsory trade work in the province,” he said. “Allow people that are unqualified, untrained, to carry out certain work that is now done under a compulsory trade licence.”

Newick noted while he is a member of IBEW, the protest isn’t a union issue.

“This is about compulsory trades in the province of Ontario,” he said. “We just happen to be organized, so it’s easier for us to get our members out, but this legislation will affect every compulsory tradesperson in the province, whether they’re in a union or not.

“We’d like to have (Schedule 17) repealed from Bill 70 and sent to committee for review.”

There are currently 22 compulsory trades in Ontario for which a person must be certified or registered as an apprentice and a member of the College to be employed in the trade.

Newick noted they expected a 150 people from Hamilton, Oakville, Burlington, Brantford and the surrounding areas at the protest.

“We wanted to raise awareness to Mr. McMeekin,” Newick added. “We wanted to meet him at his constituency office today…a lot of MPPs are in their offices on Fridays.”

However, he noted, the MPP was not in his office, adding they did not contact him in advance.

“We just showed up,” he said.

McMeekin said he understands the workers' concerns.

“I see the need to inform the trades and make sure that those who have gone about the process of getting the training and becoming competent are recognized and get treated preferentially,” he said. “I guess where the dispute comes in is that some people do general labour and some people do very specific labour – the threat is that some of the general labourers may be taking some of the specific labourers' work.

“I think the best way to get that sorted out is to continue the dialogue.”

McMeekin noted he was at a budget forum on Friday at the Art Gallery of Hamilton,

While the Waterdown protest was the only one of its kind in Ontario on Friday, skilled tradespeople planned a large rally on the lawn at Queen’s Park to take place Nov. 30 at 9:30 a.m.

Later on Friday, steelworkers protested in front of McMeekin’s office in a bid to save their pensions.

McMeekin noted he shares the steelworkers' concerns.

He said ironically, while the steelworkers were protesting in front of his office, he was meeting with Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger about US Steel.

“We have a shared sense of purpose,” he said. “I have the same concerns as they have – how do we come out of this awful situation?”