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ORBA supports ending Closed Tendering Construction


May 21, 2013
By Aggregates and Roadbuilding

May 21, 2013, Toronto – The Ontario Road Builders' Association
(ORBA) is supporting legislation introduced by MPP Michael Harris
to end closed tendering of construction projects in municipalities and
school boards in Ontario. 

Representatives from ORBA were on hand to
participate in the press conference and to watch the introduction of The Fair and Open Tendering Act in the legislature.

"We support a fair, equitable and open tendering process in which all
companies can compete for work," said John Blake, president of
ORBA. "This tendering process helps to ensure the best value-for-money
for the taxpayer."

Closed tendering situations can occur when a public employer is
organized by an affiliated construction union and forced to accept the
provincially negotiated collective agreement for industrial, institutional and commercial work. 

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These provincial agreements
typically contain tight contacting out restrictions that require public
employers to close tendering to only contractors and workers who are
organized by a particular union. This can restrict all other union and
non-union contractors from participating in the publicly funded
projects.

Closed tendering restrictions apply in school boards and cities across
the province including Toronto, Sault Ste. Marie, Hamilton and the
Greater Essex County School Board. The Region of Waterloo is also at
risk of being subject to this type of situation if they are
unsuccessful in their ongoing battle with the Carpenters Union at the
Ontario Labour Relations Board.

"Restrictions on competition in the City of Hamilton are estimated to
have cost the City's tax payers millions of dollars for no added
value," said Geoff Wilkinson, executive director of ORBA. "We are happy
to see legislation put forward to close this loophole in the Labour Relations Act and prevent unfair tendering practices."

ORBA's Board of Directors passed a resolution calling on the Government
to stop closed tendering in public employers at their April meeting. ORBA is pleased to see that MPP Harris has taken action to end this
unfair and fiscally irresponsible practice.