Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Hope you are all doing well and keeping safe. With respect to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we wanted to provide you with an update. As you may all be aware, in accordance with World Health Organization, the COVID-19 virus continues to spread globally. Although originally thought, Canada represented a low risk to being exposed; we now know that we are not immune to its devastation. However, it is important we become proactive, to the best of our ability, in taking the necessary precautions to keep our friends, family and co-workers safe.
As you are all aware, in accordance with governmental authorities, in order for a company in Ontario to remain operating, you must be considered an “essential workplace” as outlined in the list published March 23rd. All non-essential workplaces were mandated to close as of midnight on March 24th. Construction was mandated as an essential service, therefore the BACU Locals are open and operational but with restricted visitor access and shorter “open” hours. The Provincial office will maintain operating under normal business hours to provide services to the Locals and their members. Please note that construction was deemed essential for infrastructure projects only. For your information we have enclosed a question and answer regarding EI and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Their website is https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application/questions.html
In following with governmental mandates, we will continue with the following precautions:
- Increased signage throughout our buildings reminding everyone of the necessary precautions that must be taken;
- Installed additional signage STOPPING anyone visiting the building not do not enter if: they’ve travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days; has a cough, fever or experiencing symptoms; if not experiencing symptoms, has been with anyone that has been experiencing/confirmed case in the last 14 days.
- Ensuring our office is kept sanitized and staff is staying home if they are not feeling well.
We would like to thank all staff for their ongoing patience and cooperation during this challenging time and for your contribution to in trying to combat the spread of the COVID–19 virus. We trust you will continue to practice the mandated precautions.
The Annual Scholarship Golf tournament held at Hockley Valley Golf Resort in Orangeville has been cancelled this year due to Covid-19 restrictions regarding gatherings.
The Brick and Allied Craft Union has donated $4500.00 to local food banks to help the less fortunate in our communities due to the pandemic.
Many have rightfully called for decisive government action to ensure that Indigenous communities have essential resources to respond to COVID-19. In response to the immediate needs of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, the BACU in conjunction with Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council, Bruce Power and several others in our industry are donating $20, 000.00 to the Indigenous Communities Support Fund.
We also encourage you to visit the World Health Organization website or your local government health authority websites for the most-up-to-date and reliable information about the status of the COVID-19 in your regions and communities, or in any regions you plan to travel to in the near term. https://www.who.int/ Thank you for your attention to this important community health and safety information.
The National Day of Mourning, or Workers’ Mourning Day is observed in Canada on April 28, 2020. It commemorates workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness due to workplace related hazards and occupational exposures. Please remember our fallen brothers and sisters.
We have successfully negotiated a new collective agreement for the BACU OPC which was ratified by 85% of the membership. The new agreement includes an increase of 2% per year.
After a lengthy struggle we prevailed and arrived at a new tile agreement. There were some issues accomplishing this agreement due to the BUC raids which caused setbacks in negotiations. We understood that our alliance with the Carpenter’s Union was going to assist but unfortunately they stood with BUC and we were betrayed. Our previously friendly relationship has become controversial. Subsequently, the BACU lost four companies namely York Marble, Tile and Terrazzo Inc., Castlewall, Centa and Belluz Brothers. We remained proactive and we successfully arrived at an agreement. Since the ratification date was finalized this April, the rate increase was doubled for 2020 to 3.5% and in 2021 the rate will increase by 1.75% for all tile locals excluding Local 31 as they are at 4% for 2020 and 2% for 2021. Please note that these companies are signatory to BUC in board area eight (8) only. They remain signatory to the BACU in all other board areas of Ontario.
In closing, I trust everyone is getting through this challenging time as best as possible. I’m sure everyone was hopeful that we would be approaching May with this all behind us, but, unfortunately, that’s not the case. Having said that, based on what’s been announced, there is some optimism that things can take a turn before June. So we remain hopeful this will happen. This is a demanding time for everyone, however, together doing our part, we will get through this.
Tony DiMaria, BACU President