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LABOUR RELATIONS: Past, present and what 2019 will bring for the residential construction sector
December 18th, 2018 4:45 pm     A+ | a-

Andrew Pariser / RESCON

As 2019 (a bargaining year) approaches, it is important for all members to take stock and not forget how labour relations has, is and will impact their business in the year to come.


Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government has moved swiftly and has already begun the process of reforming Ontario. Bill 47 is a key piece of legislation as it has amended labour laws, skilled trades training and the apprenticeship structure.



When it comes to both labour law and legislation, the devil is in the detail. For example, all amendments related to the ESA come into effect on Jan. 1st, 2019 while all OLRA amendments came into effect upon royal assent (this has already happened).

Remember: when you have a labour relations question, feel free to call RESCON. That is what we are here for and we can help you sort through the minutia.

Cannabis was a major story in 2018, as recreational cannabis was legalized in October. The industry has and will continue to monitor how it impacts employers. As a reminder, RESCON hosted two cannabis events and procured a cannabis template which can be used by all RESCON members to update their related employer policies. For more information and to receive this template, please contact Andrew Pariser at or 905-760-7777.


Next year will be busy for all builders as all residential and ICI collective agreements expire on April 30. Bargaining preparations are well underway and include:

  • Coordination with subtrades through the Ontario Residential Council of Construction Associations (ORCCA) and Construction Employers Coordinating Council of Ontario (CECCO).
  • Strategic planning sessions with the boards of the MTABA, TRCLB and DRCLB.
  • Liaison with relevant stakeholders in and out of government.

All members must understand that the negotiation process requires confidentiality; however, we will keep all members up to date as information becomes available.

Finally, work will continue related to Bill 47 as consultations are held and decisions are made regarding the future of skilled trades in Ontario. RESCON is uniquely positioned to be a strong voice for the residential construction industry. Through our ongoing efforts (including reports, MTCU partnerships and general leadership), we will continue to advocate for meaningful and thoughtful reforms which will address the needs of the residential construction sector.

Because this blog is not designed to provide legal advice, we encourage all members to be in touch with RESCON and/or their legal counsel to fully appreciate how the topics outlined above will impact their business.

In the meantime, here’s wishing everyone a happy holiday season and all the best in the New Year.

Andrew Pariser is the vice-president of RESCON and the chair of RESCON’s health and safety committee. Email him at

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