Tentative agreement reached with road construction workers union

The strike had repercussions, including delaying the planned replacement of the Booth Street Bridge on Highway 417.

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A deal has been reached that could end a week-long strike by highway construction workers in eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

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The National Capital Road Builders Association said on Tuesday it had reached a tentative agreement with Local 527 of the Workers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA), which represents road construction workers. and infrastructure in the Ottawa region.

A union representative also confirmed that an agreement had been reached.

The deal will now be put to a vote by union members, who have been on strike since July 4, demanding better wages to cope with soaring inflation. In particular, the union said it was seeking a $7 wage increase spread over three years, the length of its typical bargaining agreement.

Another deal proposed by the NCRBA, the employer representative in talks, was rejected by union members in a vote last week. The offer had temporarily halted picketing, but it resumed on July 14, the day after the previous deal was rejected.

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Unions for operations engineers and truckers voted in favor of the initial agreement proposed by the NCRBA, reports Ontario Construction News.

Members picketed Monday through Friday, said union member and strike captain Nadyne Anderson.

« We are just fighting for the ability to be able to live, » she said. « We don’t really want to be there, we want to go back to work to do our job. »

She said rising prices, especially for fuel, had made it difficult for everyone to make ends meet, and that the rising cost of living needed to be reflected in workers’ wages.

“We have to drive all over the Ottawa area to get to work and the price of gas, the price of everything goes up with inflation,” Anderson said, adding that it was unfair that union members work more than 10 hours and take away from their family still struggled to pay their bills.

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“We spend more time on the streets and with our crew members than with our own…families. We’re here for 10, 11, 12 hours every day in all weathers, doing our job to keep the city running smoothly and efficiently.

LiUNA Local 527 workers are involved in construction projects for roads, bridges, water and sewers, curbs and sidewalks, buildings, demolition, light rail construction and more .

“Right now, we’re just trying to get an offer that benefits us today, tomorrow and for years to come. Not just for us, but for every member of this future and present who joins the union,” Anderson said.

The strike had repercussions, including delaying the planned replacement of the Booth Street Bridge on Highway 417.

The replacement of the bridge was due to take place last weekend, but the dispute delayed it.

The provincial Department of Transportation said last week it was working with contractor Kiewit-Dufferin Midtown Partnership to find a new date.

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