Trades Agree To No Strikes Or Lockouts

The Building Trades Council has signed a letter of intent with the Toronto Olympic bid committee agreeing to a no-strike, no-lockout pact, should Toronto get to host the 2008 Summer Games. John Cartwright of the Building Trades Council said, “we are able to use the need for our skills to get social gains. The Olympics are going to be three weeks, but we want to see a lasting result.”

In exchange for an agreement to use all-union labour in Olympic buildings, the union representing 45,000 building trades’ people signed the letter of intent. The Globe and Mail says the price of union consent is agreement to social goals. The trades union has an agenda that includes establishing an environmental committee to promote ecological design and construction methods, energy efficiency and recycling. The union also wants to see a legacy of a significant amount of affordable housing and public transit.

David Kidd of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 79 representing parks and recreation employees said the union would use the Olympic bid to press for public money to be spent on services that people can use every day rather than for elite athletes for a three-week show.

And Paul Clifford of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union said the Olympics represent a unique opportunity to focus on issues larger than narrow self-interest.