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This Week in Construction Law, June 6 – 10, 2022

In Ontario, the union representing SNC-Lavalin Group’s engineers has filed a complaint with the national labour board after its subsidiary, Candu Energy Inc., gave its employees one day’s notice that working at the office would once more become mandatory, after two years of working from home. The demand is alleged to be a negotiating tactic tied to rotating strikes that have been ongoing at Candu’s Darlington worksite since May 29.

In Ontario, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is doubling the rebates available to companies of fewer than 99 employees, in a move the WSIB claims is aimed at providing much-needed financial assistance to Ontario’s small businesses. The WSIB is also removing the former cap of 75% on rebates available for health and safety fees paid by small businesses.

In B.C., nearly 300 concrete workers continue their three-week-long strike for pay raises to match the increased cost of living and for better working conditions, especially the end of what they allege is a common practice of being forced to work without breaks and without compensation for the missed breaks. The strikes continue to stall concrete production at a dozen facilities that collectively manufacture 35% of the cement used in Lower Mainland construction projects.

In B.C., G & D Construction Ltd. has been fined $25,000 and its principal, Dalwinder Singh Kandola, sentenced to 14 days in jail for continued violations of the Workers Compensation Act, including workers found on rooftops with unsecured fall protection harnesses and wood scaffolding without guardrails being used to provide access to a second floor. It is the second time that the company has been found in contempt for violation of a 2017 compliance order.