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OEL accuses newly formed IHSA of union bias


March 20, 2010
By Anthony Capkun

The new Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) advisory councils contain a union bias in worker representation, says the Ontario Electrical League (OEL), and exclude non-union workers, who represent a large majority of construction workers in Ontario (70%).

“At the end of the day, worker safety is critical regardless of
affiliation or lack thereof — why would this new organization exclude
non-union and separate open shop and closed shop unions in these
discussions?” asks Mary Ingram, OEL president.

OEL is calling upon the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board to
institute the necessary changes to ensure fair representation between
union and non-union on the IHSA advisory councils and board of
directors.

“Although there are certainly some differences in philosophy on certain
subjects between these groups (union and non-union), I am quite
confident all parties can sit at the same table on the subject of
keeping our employees safe at work,” adds Ingram.

“As I understand it, the IHSA is funded by WSIB, which is funded by
employers, whether non-union, open shop or closed shop, and is intended
to get feedback from and provide support to employers and employees from
all facets,” continued Ingram. “It seems as though the non-union
employees will not be given a chance to act either in a decision-making
capacity at the board nor even in an advisory capacity.”

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