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Ontario Pipe Trades End Strike; Sheet-Metal Workers Still Out

SARNIA, Ontario—The first strike in 30 years by Ontario plumbers and steamfitters ended with a tentative agreement June 5. The deal came after the Mechanical Contractors Association of Ontario dropped its demand to adjust work hours and lengthen the 36-hour week to five days, Ontario Pipe Trades Council business manager Jim Hogarth told the Sarnia Observer. The contract will give the 12,000 workers covered a 6.7% raise over its three-year length. Meanwhile, members of the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association, on strike against the same contractors since May 1, remained out. Stuart Simpson, vice-president for Local 47 in Cornwall, a city of 50,000 on the St. Lawrence River about 60 miles southeast of Ottawa, said the contractors are offering a three-year deal with no raise. “We were very disappointed, but not with plumbers themselves. We were disappointed that the plumbers were offered a deal, while we were left dangling in the wind again,” he told the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder June 7. “No one seems to know why the sheet metal workers are being treated the way they are on this round.” Read more

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