Bill 69 now law

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On December 16, 2000, all but one provision of Bill 69, the Labour Relations Amendment Act (Construction Industry), 2000, came into force. (See also “Bill 69 – Labour Relations Amendment Act (Construction Industry), 2000″ on our What’s New page.) The following is a brief summary of the new legislation’s principal features:

Key person rule

In determining related employer or sale of business issues, the Act directs the Ontario Labour Relations Board not to consider any family relationship between an individual in one company and an individual in the other company. As well, the Act sets out criteria for the Board to observe when deciding disputes under the related employer and sale of business provisions, where a key individual is the basis of the union’s position.

Amendments to provincial agreement

Employer bargaining agencies may apply to local unions to amend the provincial agreement in their area if they believe that the terms of the provincial agreement put them at a competitive disadvantage. The amendments are restricted to specific matters, including wages, hours of work and hiring practices.

If the parties fail to agree to amendments, the employer can refer the matter to a binding expedited arbitration process. The arbitrator would have the power to make amendments to the provincial collective agreement.

Regulations deeming abandonment of bargaining rights

For a period of one year, Cabinet is given the power to bring forward regulations deeming the bargaining rights held by the union to be abandoned with respect to an employer or a class of employers. The regulations may apply to all, or only parts of, Ontario.

Residential construction industry in Toronto and surrounding area

To avoid staggered strikes which affected this industry, the Act provides for a common expiry date for all the residential construction trades in the designated areas. Strikes and lockouts are prohibited after June 15, 2001 and, if there is no agreement by that date, disputes will be submitted to binding arbitration. The provisions apply only to the 2001 round of bargaining.

For further information, please contact George Rontiris at (613) 563-7660, Extension 275.