Explore the Unions

Unions have been instrumental in improving working conditions and ensuring workers’ rights are protected. Being part of a union can offer numerous benefits and advantages, and we encourage individuals interested in the construction skilled trades to explore the union advantage and to ask the question ‘Why Union?’

What is the Union Advantage?

Being part of a labour union comes with the union advantage – a host of benefits which can enhance your career in the trades. Here are some key points to consider:

Being part of the organized construction workforce ensures the highest standard of tradespeople. Unions take care of their members by providing proper training, issuing timely updates for certifications, and handling most, if not all, administrative tasks related to their apprenticeship training. This commitment to member support enables union tradespeople to excel in their daily work. The union is there to make sure people are working safe, trained well, and paid for their worth.

As a unionized worker, you can expect to earn higher wages compared to non-union workers. Research demonstrates that union workers have higher median weekly earnings, providing greater financial stability. Wages in the unionized sector are on average 40% higher than their non-union counterparts.

Reference: OCS – Building a Foundation for Workforce Planning – Report (2021)

Unionized workers often enjoy access to comprehensive benefits like healthcare, dental, and retirement plans. Unions negotiate for improved benefits packages to prioritize the well-being and security of their members. Labour unions are dedicated to establishing and enforcing workplace protections, ensuring a safe and fair work environment with safeguards against discrimination, harassment, and unsafe working conditions.

By uniting as a cohesive force, union members hold a stronger position during negotiations with employers. This collective bargaining power empowers you to advocate for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. Together, these many voices create a mighty roar.

With over $325 million dollars invested in Ontario alone, unionized training remains the gold standard. Better training leads to better workers and safer work.

In addition, 3 out of 4 union apprentices finish their apprenticeship and qualify for their Certificate of Qualification, in contrast to only 1 in 4 in the non-union sector. That’s just a fact.

References: OCS, Training Investments in Ontario’s Construction Industry, February 2022; Statistics Canada, 2016 Census

Industrial, Commercial, and/or Institutional Construction plays a pivotal role in driving green technologies forward. Just think about the infrastructure required to support all industries and the technology needed to construct the cities and towns of tomorrow. It starts with sustainable community assets like nuclear, solar, wind, and hydro power, but it goes beyond that. From innovative building materials and construction techniques for eco-friendly homes to the development of cutting-edge transportation infrastructure, as well as the implementation of major projects to combat global warming, the construction industry is leading the way.

And when it comes to this exciting realm of sustainable construction, unionized workers are at the forefront.

Unionized construction is 31% safer compared to non-union firms. The Institute for Work & Health (2020) found that the union side had 29% fewer claims of critical injuries and 25% lower claims of musculoskeletal injuries. Fact.

Reference: OCS – 31%SAFER: The Union Safety Effect Updated Report

The collective power of unionized labour raises everyone to a higher standard of training, benefits, worker protections, safety, and wages. While union labour is not the only path, it represents a standard of your worth.

Before beginning your apprenticeship, ensure your Registered Training Agreement is signed and your hours are properly recorded.

How can CTAO help you?

Construction Training & Apprenticeship Ontario was formed in 2021 and provides exploration, education, and apprenticeship application opportunities in the skilled trades, targeting Explorers, Pre-Apprentices and Apprentices.

We are a part of the Provincial Building & Construction Trades Council of Ontario with the goal of introducing people into the world of the skilled construction trades.

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