ICI sector plumbers and steamfitters are poised for job action after 96 per cent vote to reject the latest contract off from the Mechanical Contractors Association of Ontario (MCAO).
Of the 4,495 ballots from the eight locals covered by the Ontario Pipes Trades Council (OPTC), 96.02 per cent rejected the offer with only 3.60 per cent in favour.
The key issues, like those in the sheetmetal worker’s strike, are name call hiring and an end to their four-day, 36-hour week in favour of a five day 40 hour week.
UA 46, the Toronto local, was the most vociferous with members packing the halls and chanting “reject, reject, reject” as 1962 ballots were cast to spurn the offer with only 25 in favour and one spoiled ballot.
OPTC is set to announce their next step today (May 31) which could be to return to the negotiation table or move directly to strike action which some members are already urging.
UA 46 business manager Robert Brooker earlier told members the strike option is “a deadline we had hoped we would not have to cross.”
He said MCAO had not “engaged in constructive dialogue on our next contract and what they are seeking will have a tremendous impact on both our working conditions and quality of life, and we will not compromise on protecting that.”
Brooker accused MCAO of inflexibility, saying each time they met, they tabled the same concession.
“Every point raised by the MCAO in favour of a 40-hour work week will benefit the contractors, but at a greater cost to our members,” he said. “Today it is the 40-hour work week and 100 per cent Name Hire. Tomorrow they may come after your pension contributions or overtime.”
UA 46 has been on a strike footing since May 24 but backed off with the final offer from MCAO just before the Tuesday May 27 midnight deadline.
The Daily Commercial News will provide further updates as they come.