Canada’s Building Trades Unions discuss benefits and challenges for workers

Leaders of Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU) participated in a call with the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, to discuss the impact the COVID-19 crisis is having on building trades members across Canada.

Across the country, where construction has been deemed essential, building trades members continue to maintain and build critical infrastructure; ensuring they have the optimum personal protective equipment available, remains the number one priority of the CBTU.

Building Trades leaders continue to work closely with the Government of Canada to ensure workers that have been laid off have access to various funding mechanisms available, and any gaps within that funding are addressed.

“We are very appreciative of the generous time Minister Qualtrough took to listen to and speak with the Canadian Executive Board today,” said Lionel Railton, Canadian Regional Director, International Union of Operating Engineers. “We are pleased with the efficiency of the financial supports that the government has put in place to help workers and employers during this difficult and challenging time, and we look forward to continuing to work with the government to address any gaps in funding to ensure our members – and all Canadians – don’t get left behind.”

“We have had a significant number of members report that they have applied for and already received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and we appreciate the governments impressive responsiveness to the economic needs of Canadians at this unprecedented time. Looking ahead, we are prepared to work with government to get people back to work. The construction sector and future infrastructure spending will play a significant role in kick-starting our economy moving forward,” said Joe Mancinelli, International Vice President, LiUNA Canada.

“Looking ahead, as the largest, private training provider in the country, we want to work with government to utilize existing funding mechanisms to get Canadians back to work. The importance of training and the opportunities that exist through our apprenticeship programs will create a path forward for Canadians – including underrepresented groups – to obtain a lifelong career and participate in building vital infrastructure that will help reinvigorate the economy coming out of this,” said Kevin Bryenton, General Vice President, Iron Workers.

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