Changes to Saskatchewan's construction labour laws take effect July 1

Bill 80 allows employers to bargain with 'wall-to-wall' unions and clarifies union abandonment
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 07/07/2010

Saskatchewan construction companies will be able to deal exclusively with multi-trade or "wall-to-wall" unions as of July 1 when changes to the province's Construction Industry Labour Relations Act take effect.

Under the 1992 act, journeymen and apprentice workers on unionized sites were required to join the single-trade union that represents their particular trade, such as the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters.

The amendments to the act, Bill 80, allow a trade union to organize a company on a multi-trade, or "all employee" basis, such as the Christian Labour Association of Canada or the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions, as well as on a single trade basis.

"Bill 80 will result in more competitive bidding and will help to sustain the province's economic momentum and growth," said Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Labour Rob Norris.

Also, any trade union will be able to certify an employer and employers can choose the Representative Employers' Organization that will represent them in collective bargaining. Employers will also be able to negotiate site-by-site collective agreements with a multi-trade union outside of the provincewide bargaining system, thereby avoiding the need for an REO.

Bill 80 also allows an employer to file an abandonment complaint against a trade union that has been “inactive in promoting and enforcing its bargaining rights against the employer for a period of at least three years before the application.”

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