Reproduced with permission from Construction Labor Report, by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) <http://www.bna.com>
Iron Workers, Glaziers Win Work at Nuclear Station
July 7 —
Work removing and disposing of parapet walls at a construction project at Ontario's Darlington Nuclear Generating Station should have been assigned to members of the Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers and the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades rather than the Laborers' International Union of North America, the Ontario Labour Relations Board ruled June 8 (Laborers v. Quantum Murray LP
, O.L.R.B., No. 1816-14-JD, 6/8/15).
Long-standing practice in that segment of the construction sector, accepted as workable by contractors and as fair by trades, is to assign such work on “curtain” walls to Iron Workers and Painters members, labor board Vice-Chair Jesse M. Nyman wrote for the board. That factor should have “very great” significance, he said in the ruling, made public June 16.
“The Board should be very reluctant to disturb that workable and accepted understanding in the absence of overwhelming evidence that it ought not to be applied,” Nyman said. “There is no such evidence in this case. The factors in this case are all neutral or weigh in favor of assigning the work in dispute to members of the Iron Workers and [Painters].”
Laborers' Subcontractor-Supported Position Rejected
The Iron Workers and Painters challenged subcontractor Quantum Murray LP's assignment to Laborers Local 183 of work “dismantling for scrap” all existing parapet walls, including flashing and vertical insulated metal sandwich panels, exterior glazing and prefinished insulated metal sandwich panels and soffits on the operating support building at the nuclear power plant.
The labor board rejected the Laborers' argument, supported by Quantum Murray, that the jurisdictional dispute was untimely because the Painters failed to claim the work in dispute at the mark-up meeting for the project or at any reasonable time afterwards. Failure to claim work at a mark-up meeting will generally disentitle a union from subsequently seeking relief from the labor board, Nyman said. But he found that the Ironworkers union was entitled to file the jurisdictional dispute.
In addition, the claim by the Ironworkers and Painters is supported by a memorandum of agreement between the unions in 1999, Nyman found. He said the memorandum specifically calls for the performance of certain work, including installation and removal of curtain walls, by composite crews with equal numbers from each union and for the unions to jointly challenge any assignment of such work to members of any other union.
“The Board should encourage parties to comply with jurisdictional dispute resolution procedures that they have created, [but] I am also of the view that the Board should encourage parties to live up to the jurisdictional trade agreements and settlements they reach,” Nyman said. “Penalizing the Iron Workers in the circumstances of this case for observing the terms of their settlement and trade agreement sends the wrong message.”
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