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May 4, 2007

Labour

Local 183 signs new contract

TORONTO

Members of Local 183 of the Labourers’ Union have overwhelmingly ratified construction industry collective bargaining settlements worth more than $4 per hour in wage, benefit and pension increases over the next three years.

The settlements affect more than 25,000 of Local 183’s members working in the major construction sectors, from roads and utilities to commerial and residential buildings.

“These are the best settlements in the 55-year history of our union, worth hundreds of millions of dollars to our members,” said Local 183 Co-Trustees Durval Terceira and Daniel Avero, who led the negotiations.

“It’s a lot of money but it has been — and will continue to be — well-earned. Our members’ skills and productivity are at all-time highs.

“Contractors have been doing very well over the past few years and these settlements are recognition that they owe much of their profitability to the hard-working members of Local 183.

“The benefits of these settlements will reach deep into the communities our members live in. More money will flow into neighbourhood businesses, more of our kids will have a chance to go to college or university, better benefits will keep everyone healthier and larger pensions will mean more secure futures.”

Daniel Avero

The settlements also put the final nail in the coffin of the disastrous attempt by the Canadian Auto Workers to raid Local 183.

The CAW advanced a million dollars to the deposed former local business manager, Tony Dionisio, to set up the Canadian Construction Workers Union. As of April 30, the end of the open season, CCWU’s ten full-time staff had managed to certify only nine members of Local 183.

Dionisio had earlier this year publicly predicted he would lure away 15,000 members, who would follow him into the CAW.

“We feel bad for CAW members whose money has been wasted by their irresponsible leadership,” said Avero and Terceira.

“Buzz Hargrove has been handing out wage and contract concessions like candy to the auto industry. Now he has spent $110,000 of CAW funds for each new member brought in by Dionisio’s phony new union.

“The CCWU may be the only union in Canadian history that has more full-time staff than members. It would be laughable if it weren’t such a tragic waste of workers’ money.”

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