Are Unionized Construction Sites Safer

Are unionized construction sites safer? A new study shows they are

A unionized construction job site is a safer job site.

A new study by the Institute for Work and Health has found that lost-time injury claims to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) are 31 per cent lower on unionized building trade construction jobs than they are in a non-union environment. The study also found that claims for severe injuries are 29 per cent lower on union job sites.

The data doesn’t lie, and reaffirms what we have always suspected. Preventable incidents hurt people, reduce productivity and affect worker morale. It is encouraging to see data that a unionized job is a job being done properly and safely by people who are fully trained in what their tasks are.

The study analyzed WSIB data from more than 50,000 companies representing 1.7 million workers in the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) construction sector between 2012 and 2018. The study is a followup to a similar analysis completed in 2015 with data up to 2012, with similar conclusions: unionization is associated with lower risks of lost-time claims including both musculoskeletal injuries and more severe, critical ones.

Furthermore, the updated study has found the union safety effect has strengthened over the past five years, when claims from unionized construction workers were 23 per cent lower compared to unrepresented construction workers.

The current study also found that as the size of the company grows, the incidence of claims drops, with 36 per cent fewer claims in unionized companies with more than 50 employees — and the bigger firms tend to be unionized.

While the researchers did not investigate why unionized workers are filing fewer WSIB claims, they do note that ICI building trades unions and their contractor partners make significant investments in health and safety training, and that unionized building-trades employees are more likely to report unsafe working conditions, refuse unsafe work and ensure enforcement where needed.

Building-trades unions at work sites also tend to employ more registered apprentices and have higher journeyperson-to-apprentice ratios, according to their trade’s respective collective agreement. Unionized contractors also tend to have less worker turnover and longer job tenure.

Robert Bronk is chief executive officer of the Ontario Construction Secretariat.


Day of Mourning Contest Sponsored by the Grey-Bruce Labour Council

February 10, 2021

Attention: Affiliate Presidents

Please find below, a copy of the 2021 application form for the Day of Mourning Award. This
annual award is sponsored by the Grey Bruce Labour Council and Bruce Power and is
awarded to three high school students in Grey and Bruce who will be selected to deliver a
presentation that shares, through their experiences, an awareness and knowledge of workplace
health and safety issues. The value of each Day of Mourning Award is $250. All high school
students in Grey and Bruce Counties are eligible to apply.

In your capacity as Affiliate President, you know the importance of workplace health and safety.
We are asking for your support in making this award opportunity available to the children of your

For more information please contact:

Grey-Bruce Labour Council or
Kristen Fry
339522 Presqu’ile Rd
Kemble ON N0H 1S0
[email protected]
Thank you for your support,
Kristen Fry
This Award is Sponsored by
Bruce Power
Grey-Bruce Labour Council


Day of Mourning Contest – Three $250 Prizes

2021 Award Application

Sponsored by the Grey-Bruce Labour Council

April 28th is recognized each year as a National Day of Mourning to remember and honour workers
who have been killed, injured or are suffering occupational disease in the workplace. As the
community voice for workers and working families, the Grey-Bruce Labour Council is pleased to offer
all high school students in Bruce and Grey an opportunity to submit a presentation for our annual Day
of Mourning Contest.

Applicants must prepare a 2 to 3 minute visual or audio presentation (eg. could include an oral essay,
video, multimedia) detailing their experiences and knowledge of the importance of workplace health
and safety for young workers in our community. Student employment includes part time, coop and
volunteer work, including farm and home locations. Successful applicants will deliver their
presentation as part of the Virtual Day of Mourning Ceremony on or around April 28, 2021.

Applicant’s Name ______________________________________________________________

Applicant’s School _________________________________________________________________

Home Phone Number __________________ Home Email Address ___________________________

The value of the Day of Mourning Award is $250 each. Three students from Bruce and Grey Counties
will be selected as award winners. Transportation to the ceremonies can be arranged if needed. All
high school students throughout Bruce and Grey are eligible to submit their audio/video presentation.
Young workers need to be aware of their rights and responsibilities under the Occupational Health
and Safety Act.

Students are also encouraged to visit for information on the Workers Health and
Safety Center Post-Secondary Scholarships.

Applications must be received by March 20, 2021. The application form must accompany the
Return applications and presentations to:

Kristen Fry, 339522 Presqu’ile Rd, Kemble ON N0H 1S0
Or please email by attachment to [email protected]

This Award is Sponsored by
Grey-Bruce Labour Council

Light Up for Paid Sick Days


Take Action to Demand Bill 239 is Passed


Join the Ontario Federation of Labour’s call to pass NDP MPP Peggy Sattler’s Bill 239, the ‘Stay Home If You Are Sick Act’ for 7 permanent paid sick days, plus 14 additional days during a pandemic.


The Ontario Legislature is set to return on February 16. Let’s make it clear they need to pass Bill 239 as soon as they are back to work!


Monday, February 15 - Family Day

Paid sick days are crucial for the well-being of all families. What better way to mark the holiday than shining a spotlight on the urgency of legislated paid sick days? This family day weekend, the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Fight for $15 and Fairness are joining forces to LIGHT IT UP for paid sick days.


Join the #LightItUp for #PaidSickDays action.


What you can do:

  1. CALL YOUR MPP: Click here to use the OFL’s online tool to Call Your MPP to demand all party support for Bill 239. If your MPP is NDP you will be given the option to call Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Merrilee Fullerton, Monte McNaughton or Stephen Lecce instead.


  1. DOWNLOAD A POSTER: Click here to download and print a Light It Up poster. Hang the poster in your window, on your front door or around your neighbourhood to show your support for paid sick days. Share a selfie on social media of you holding this important message.


  • DOWNLOAD A COLOURING PAGE: For those with children, make it a family event. Click here to download and print a Light It Up colouring page. Colour and decorate the page with your child(ren) and hang the artwork in your window or on your front door.

(PS: All you educators – this would be a fun homework assignment for your students…)


  1. ADD A FRAME TO YOUR FACEBOOK PROFILE: Click here to add a temporary Light It Up frame to your Facebook profile photo.


  1. LIGHT IT UP ON FAMILY DAY: On Monday, February 15, join the #LightItUp for #PaidSickDays action. Between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Whether you are alone or with family, when the sun sets this family day, turn on your cell phone light, a flashlight, a lantern, light a candle or whatever light you have, and shine the light from your window, off your porch or balcony, your driveway, during a walk around your neighbourhood or wherever you can, to show your support for paid sick days.

Take a selfie, family photo or video, with the poster, colouring page or light, and post it on social media, saying why everyone needs paid sick days and tag your friends to do the same.

Let folks know that you expect your MPP to support Bill 239 which provides all workers with 7 permanent paid sick days, and an additional 14 paid sick days during public health outbreaks like COVID-19.

Use the hashtags #LightItUp for #PaidSickDays and tag @OFLabour.


RSVP to let us know you will be joining us in this action to demand paid sick days for all!


If you do not have social media, send your photos or video to [email protected] and we will post them for you.


#LightItUp for #PaidSickDays because #PaidSickdaysSaveLives


If you have any questions about the solidarity actions, please contact OFL Interim Director of Political Action Chandra-Li Paul (Chani) at [email protected].


In solidarity,


PATTY COATES                                                       







Executive Vice-President





Patty Coates
President, Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL)   

705-321-1441 mobile | [email protected] | @pattycoates


Executive Director, Rob Halpin:  416-707-9014 | [email protected] | @Poleconomist

Executive Secretary, Judy Chow:  416-443-7653 | [email protected] | @OFLabour |


The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents 54 unions and one million workers.  It is Canada’s largest provincial labour federation.



Chandra-Li Paul (Chani)

Interim Director of Political Action and Outreach

Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL)

15 Gervais Drive, Suite 202

Toronto, ON M3C 1Y8

Cell: 416-712-6125  l  [email protected] | @OFLabour |

The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents 54 unions and one million workers.

It is Canada's largest provincial labour federation.



End Systemic anti-Black Racism

Subject: [RSVP] End systemic anti-Black Racism



February is the month we celebrate Black history. This year our focus is on the double crisis – a global pandemic and ongoing racial injustice.


The facts are clear:


  • Black communities have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic.
  • Black workers are at the frontlines of this pandemic.


This is not right and it needs to change now.


On February 23, we will be hosting a webinar to talk about what that change looks like.


Reserve your spot now to learn more about Black History Month and how you can help move Canada forward together:


Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Time: 1 pm (Eastern Time)


{Button text: RSVP today}

Button link


Petition to protect pensions

Pensioners should not be last on the list to be paid when companies go bankrupt. Workers pay into their pension funds and that money belongs to the workers. The government must protect pensions now!

I am adding my name to the following petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

WHEREAS the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario legislative mandate is to provide regulatory services that protect the public interest and enhance public confidence in the sectors it regulates; and

WHEREAS the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario is responsible for the good administration of pension plans and to protect and safeguard the pension benefits and rights of pension plan beneficiaries.

We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:

To enshrine the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario with the abilities to: 


a. Block or place conditions on company takeovers, as well as bankruptcy and insolvency processes deemed to put pensions at risk. 

b. Ensure that any pension plan is funded at 100% prior to paying any secured creditors. 

c.  Ensure payment to workers, including any termination, severance pay and health benefits owing prior to any secured creditors. 

d. Ensure prevention of companies from stopping the payment of any retirement benefits during any proceedings under the bankruptcy and insolvency process.

e. To issue punitive fines on company directors and executives in cases of clear wrong doing and to claw back directors' and executives' bonuses after a company pension plan collapses.


No COVID Evictions!

No COVID Evictions! - Power of Many

In March, Doug Ford said no one would be evicted during a pandemic. But Ontario’s eviction moratorium was lifted in August and the Landlord and Tenant Board is undergoing an “Eviction Blitz” as they rush through as many hearings as possible. 

NDP MPP Suze Morrison recently tabled a motion in Ontario’s Legislature calling for an eviction ban until Ontario is in a post-pandemic recovery period. 

Email Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark and your MPP urging them to support Motion #125 and immediately reinstate an eviction ban in Ontario.  

Resume the Legislature!

Resume the Legislature! - Power of Many

The Ontario legislature is in recess while the province continues to break single-day records for COVID-19 cases and deaths. This means that urgent work like legislating paid sick days, addressing understaffing in long-term care, establishing a plan for safer classrooms, and developing a comprehensive vaccine rollout program has been put on pause.

We cannot wait until February 16 for Ford to return to Queen’s Park. Call on Doug Ford and your MPP to reconvene the legislature immediately to:

  • Legislate paid sick days
  • Fix the long-term care crisis
  • Establish a safer education plan
  • Ramp-up vaccine rollout