Trades training centre unveiled amid nervousness about Tory plans
The huge Carpenters Union training centre, worth $11 million, was unveiled Thursday by Local 1946 members on Highbury Avenue South.
The 31,000 square foot centre includes administrative offices and a training centre equipped with a 120 X 120 shop floor.
It is the regional hub for construction training and will train close to 3,000 students a year in certification upgrades to multi-week courses.
Programs will run from September through June for carpenters, dry wallers, floor layers and masons.
"We've now become a one-stop, state-of-the-art centre for training," says Kevin Hoy, union coordinator and president of Local 1946.
Amid the celebration is a worry about the Ontario Progressive Conservatives’ proposals that would allow employers and private construction monopolies to tear up contracts with organized labour.
Workers could opt out of paying union dues.
Hoy says it’s not the right road to go down for members or big construction companies, such as Ellis Don.
“I know that our workers make Ellis Don money, so for them to go to a non-union, there's nobody that has the skill that we do. The teams in place that we do. On-demand hiring. They call; they need guys trained. We do on-demand training,” he says.