According to the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON), the residential construction strikes that are currently underway will be over in one week or less. These strikes are part of the worst round of collective bargaining in the GTA’s residential construction sector in nearly 20 years.
Following strikes in 1998 that led to the creation of labour legislation, a 46-day strike window was mandated from May 1st to June 15th, meaning that any trade which has not reached an agreement by June 15th will have any outstanding issues settled by an arbitrator.
If a tentative agreement is reached before the end date or if all parties involved agree to an arbitrator, crews could return to work even sooner.
“While the vast majority of more than 20 trades involved in low-rise and high-rise residential construction have settled and ratified agreements, the drywall, trim and tile trades remain on strike,” said Richard Lyall, RESCON president, in a press release. “It has been a frustrating time for new home buyers. We look forward to seeing the GTA residential strikes end no later than June 15th.”
These strikes are the first in 18 years, following six successful rounds of bargaining that took place every three years.
The impact of the work disruption will vary, depending on the status of houses and projects before the strikes began. Homes waiting for drywall, trim or tile are expected to be impacted more than homes at other stages of construction.
“RESCON will continue to monitor the situation and share up-to-date information with our members, key stakeholders and the public as it becomes available,” said RESCON vice president Andrew Pariser. “In the meantime, we encourage new home buyers to contact their builders for specific information on your new home or condo.”
RESCON is an association that represents the interests of new home and condominium builders on issues including labour relations, health and safety and technical standards, among others.