On my way home last night from a RONA trade show, I received the news that, under all of our noses, the Ontario College of Trades appears set to make carpentry a “certified” dues-paying trade. This news broke last night thanks to the Toronto Sun. See the story here.
Well, it seems the Ontario Liberal government, in their fight to get reelected and to get support of unions, is finding a way, through the Ontario College of Trades that they created, to pay the carpenters’ union back for their support. What’s next, the drywaller and flooring unions?
Here is the Ontario College of Trades’ new regulation – Performing renovations. O. Reg. 275/11, s. 15.
If this goes through, imagine the implications for the entire industry. Homebuilding will be hit by (legal) carpenter shortages, carpentry students coming out of college will be affected… maybe even Mike Homes, to my knowledge not a certified carpenter, would not be able to ply his trade.
Who will train you to certification as a legal carpenter? The unions! You would need to become a member. So the unions in Ontario, having stuck the WSIB down the throats of independent operators and the self-employed renovators over the past year, will be doing the same via the College of Trades.
Imagine homeowners having their renovations stopped immediately because they are using non-certified (non-union) labour? Sounds like a nightmare? Well, just look at what the Ontario College of Trades has the power to do, under the law. They can make it illegal for a tradesperson to work if you don’t follow their rules.
To oppose this, the home renovation industry needs to be united. The unions are united.
I say we need to do what the trucking industry did a few years back when it created a giant slowdown on the 401. We need to renovators to bring their vehicles down to Bay and Wellesley, where the Ontario College of Trades’ offices are, and cause gridlock. We need pickets and signs, we need public awareness and we need the media to pay attention to what the Ontario College of Trades is doing. We need to make it clear how wrong is this and how undemocratic this is. After all, the Ontario College of Trades is run by appointment, not by election.
This latest move by the OCOT looks very much to me to be an under-the-table deal. Dalton McGuinty’s government created OCOT. But I’d hoped Kathleen Wynne might be fresh air – that was clearly wrong. This development from the OCOT shows greed – and that people will do anything to hang onto power.
Let’s all get busy and put our heads together and become a mass of people calling for strength. I know unions – especially being brought up in Scotland. There is a place for them, but unions squeezing the self-employed in the home renovations industry? It’s just wrong.
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