International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Ontario Council | 416-630-9604   or   1-800-668-1823


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They have raised wages, shortened hours of work and provided supplemental benefits. Through collective bargaining and grievance procedures, they have brought justice and democracy to the shop floor.
– John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States

We, in the labour movement of the construction industry, work diligently to provide excellent job opportunities for our members and have our contractors compete. We are living in a world of a earning a “fast dollar” yet it is not a dollar that keeps all workers satisfied nor is it always a dollar earned that benefits our social structure in Canada.

Joining a Union means many things. It is a fraternity of associates and partners sharing an interest in the same trade or industry. It is helping and protecting one another and caring for the work we do and the people we work with. It is not always about ourselves but it also about what we can contribute back to our community.

Being in a Union brings benefits to its members and their families. In addition to a very good standard of living with wages and benefits, members are able to enjoy the social activities and friendships that are gained at Union meetings and on the job. On the job Union members have rights and a voice to be treated equally with fairness, dignity and respect.

Our excellent wages and benefits put Union members in a different category than non-union workers. If your family needs prescriptions, dental or other medical needs outside of OHIP, we have that cost covered. In the event of an unfortunate tragedy, our families receive life insurance, and if we become disabled, we have some income. When we retire we will have a pension plan to supplement the Canada Pension Plan and still maintain a decent style of living after a career of work.

Non-union workers pay a price by not being in a Union!

Non-union workers are paying a price to work in their environment. In most cases, they work in an underground economy with straight pay cheques and no deductions. They are vulnerable to government scrutiny on taxes and other regulatory issues. In most cases, non-union workers pay a price… they are exploited and work in conditions without any knowledge or compliance to safety and they are forced to work long hours with no overtime premium. In many cases, their employers are breaking the law through the Employment Standards Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act and they do not realize it. Most non-union workers are not fully trained and are accustomed to not knowing what it is like to be in an organized working environment.

Workers that work non-union do not know what it is like to be in a Union. There is a threat by their employers that “… if a union comes into my business, I will be forced to close down…” This could not be further from the truth!

The IUPAT has over 600 employers in Ontario signatory to collective bargaining agreements. There is no documented proof that a contractor has gone out of business because of being unionized. Employers usually change their business practices and enter a larger market place with additional opportunities for expanded business and larger profits. There is always a fear that “the Union is going to run my business…” Once again, this is a myth. The Union does not subscribe to being business operators… we are a Union that services and represents workers!

The only fear an employer should have about a Union is when the Union does not organize and does nothing to assist in the gain of market share.

Workers should have no fear of joining a Union — it always benefits the worker!

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