Large-scale building projects across Ontario slowed last week as about 2,000 crane and other heavy-equipment operators went on strike over wage and safety issues.
Construction was affected at a large number of sites in the province. Private employers were offering wage increases of less than 3 percent per year over three years, despite predictions of an expanding economy and higher demand for workers’ services, according to officials of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 793.
At issue as well are employer demands to cut the number of workers required to operate equipment, which, union officials contend, could compromise safety.
Contractors are also looking for scheduling changes in some projects, including having crane operators work four 10-hour days in a week rather than the current five eight-hour days.