Brampton City Council has passed a motion supporting members of the Ontario Dump Truck Association (ODTA) in their efforts to improve working conditions and increase rates as enshrined in a proposed procurement document.
The March 30 motion requests that City of Brampton staff ensure the ODTA’s basic agreement is considered prior to allowing companies to bid on city infrastructure projects and also that staff report to council on how the ODTA’s basic agreement can be inserted into the city’s procurement process permanently.
The association is currently embroiled in a service dispute pitting its members against contractors, with many of the contractors represented by the Associated Earth Movers of Ontario (AEMO). Since March 21 dump truck owner-operators have withheld their services and embarked on a campaign to disrupt jobsites in a bid to force the AEMO and other associations and contractors to recognize their nine-page basic agreement.
For its part, the leadership of the AEMO says it cannot sign the proposed ODTA agreement because it asserts the ODTA does not have legal standing to sign such an agreement. AEMO head David Rumble has said his association can agree to a 20 per cent rate hike and is willing to continue negotiations for the “betterment” of the industry.
“Soaring fuel prices, drivers being denied breaks and washroom access, and ongoing safety concerns are the reality for our drivers,” said ODTA senior adviser Bob Punia in a statement. “This resolution from Brampton City Council is an important step in supporting the thousands of members who are asking for fairness and respect in the workplace.”
The motion was put forward by Councillor Gurpeet Dhillon.
“I am pleased to see my colleagues on city council recognize the importance of standing up for workers’ rights,” stated Dhillon. “This motion is an important step in ensuring City of Brampton funded infrastructure projects are respectful to these important workers who literally build our cities.”
The ODTA scheduled a job action against Mobilinx, who it accused to using job-action-breaking contractors, for the morning of April 7.