I'm going to quote an article by Peter Shawn Taylor, the editor at large of Maclean's magazine, entitled “Why this shed could cost local taxpayers $20 million a year”. It reads:
Our province’s bizarre construction industry labour rules impose union certification with the submission of just two union cards comprising at least 55 per cent of all relevant employees working at all job sites at any point in time. No vote required.
Taylor then goes to say that the forced unionization that happened in Waterloo also occurred in Hamilton:[Where] two workers signed carpenters' union cards and were thus able to impose a union agreement on the entire city forever...[the pool of] eligible bidders for construction contracts in Hamilton was reduced by over 90 per cent. Of the 260 firms that had previously bid on city jobs, city staff calculated that only 17 were affiliated with the carpenters' union.
On the cost side, he noted:
Hamilton calculations show a 10 per cent increase in costs due to union-monopoly rules, or about $4 million to $10 million per year, for routine capital projects. With regards to a massive $1.1 billion waste-water treatment plan, the cost is estimated at an additional 20 per cent to 40 per cent.
That's on a billion dollar project.
He goes on:A report by Cardus, a Hamilton-based open shop research group, estimates that out of our region’s 2012 capital budget
—he's referring to Waterloo—
almost $200 million worth of contracts would likely be affected by a successful carpenters’ union certification. Even a 10 per cent hike amounts to nearly $20 million in extra costs. In Toronto, Coun. Karen Stintz has put the price of restrictive union rules at $100 million a year.
So my question comes then to the last point that Mr. Taylor makes. He says: All this should bring into sharp focus the region’s
—now he's talking about Waterloo—
looming $818-million light rail transit system. With funding fixed from the federal and provincial governments, any cost overruns are the sole responsibility of local taxpayers.