NDP Partner with Workers, Delay Bill 4

Winnipeg, MB –The Manitoba NDP announced today that Bill 4 The Public Sector Construction Projects (Tendering) Act will be delayed until the fall. The NDP formally designated the bill in the House this afternoon and removed government’s ability to guarantee its passage before the House rises in June.

“Bill 4 is a bad deal for skilled workers and puts Manitoba’s major infrastructure projects at risk,” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “The Pallister government should be protecting workers rights to fair wages and safe work requirements, not weakening them.”

Bill 4 removes the ability to enter into a single labour agreement which would cover all workers on major public construction projects. These project labour agreements (PLAs) allow non-unionized workers to reap the same benefits and follow the same requirements as their unionized counterparts. Bill 4 would also relieve pressure on government to set Community Benefit Agreements, which ensure local communities affected by major developments are able to share in economic benefits.

“We welcome this effort to forestall legislation that does not serve the interests of our Province,” said Sudhir Sandhu, CEO of Manitoba Building Trades. “Manitobans have expressed strong support for leveraging public sector investments to create employment, training and economic opportunities in their communities. We hope the government will withdraw Bill 4 and do what is best for Manitobans.”

Kinew and Sandhu both urged the Pallister government to abandon the bill and work with Manitoba’s skilled workers to create safe jobs and build stronger communities.