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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 9:36 EDT

Federal Government Acts to Repeal Outdated Federally Regulated Wages

April 26, 2012

A positive move for Canadian construction workers

OTTAWA, April 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Merit Canada, the voice of Canada’s open
shop construction associations, today praised the federal government
for finally including the repeal of the Fair Wages and Hours of Labour
Act, known commonly as the Fair Wages Act in the Budget Implementation
Act.  Merit president Terrance Oakey called the government’s action a
good one for Canada’s construction industry in general and the
open-shop sector in particular.

“Merit Canada is pleased the Government is committed to reducing red
tape for the construction sector, especially for small businesses,”
said Oakey.  “The measures announced today will increase the ability of
small and medium size open shop construction companies to efficiently
perform work on federal construction projects and we call on Members of
Parliament from all parties to ensure the budget implementation act is
passed without delay.”

Oakey called the changes long overdue.  “Wages and working conditions
today are a far cry from 80 years ago when this Act was brought in,” he
said.  Back then, there were few, if any, laws and regulations in place
at any level to protect the interests of construction workers. Today
“there are a host of provincial and territorial measures in place to
enhance and protect working conditions, employment standards, labour
relations, wages and hours of labour.”

Oakey also noted that regulated minimum wages generally have a negative
impact on young workers with little experience.  They increase the
marginal costs of labour and discourage employers from hiring
additional workers even in times of great need. Moreover American
studies indicate  that construction industry productivity is lower in
jurisdications that stipulate minimum wages for public construction 
projects compared to jurisdictions that use strictly labour market
based approaches. For Oakey, “both wages and working conditions should
be determined directly between employers and employees, or through a
collective bargaining process within the boundaries of the law.”

Merit Canada was established in November 2008 as a united national voice
for eight different provincial Open Shop construction associations. 
Open Shop construction represents approximately 70% of the Canadian
construction industry, and our member companies directly employ
approximately 60,000 people.

SOURCE Merit Canada


Source: PR Newswire