TORONTO: The Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario has launched their campaign to stop construction industry tax fraud and end illegal worksites.
Tax fraud cheats hardworking craftspeople out of their rightful pay and benefits and forces all Ontarians to make up for lost tax revenue, the union said.
This lost revenue costs Ontario taxpayers anywhere from $1.8 billion to $3.1 billion every year.
“We must work together to stop these injustices and start to hold black market construction firms accountable,” the union said.
The Union Members and Public Call to Action plan says:
• Visit the Ontario Campaign website: notaxfraud.com to learn more about tax fraud, its implications across sectors and on everyday taxpayers, and to submit an online letter to your local MPPs and MPs advocating action against these illegal activities.
• Report illegal worksites to your Union Local representative.
• Ontario should follow the example of the Commonwealth of Virginia, who designated the Virginia Attorney General’s first Worker Protection Unit to educate workers on their rights, and to investigate, stop and prosecute companies that unlawfully engaged in worker exploitation.
The union said the Canada Revenue Agency needs to take a proactive approach by devoting a team to investigate the illegal tax fraud in the industry, coordinate with labour and employers, and support law enforcement officials in this regard.
“These illegal activities not only defraud workers out of their rightful pay and benefits, but they also result in higher likelihoods of injuries on worksites and even human trafficking in extreme cases,” said Mike Yorke, President, Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario.
“Collaboration amongst all stakeholders is the best defence against the underground economy. From healthcare to transit and schools, imagine the infrastructure we could build in Ontario without tax fraud,” Tony Iannuzzi, Carpenters EST Ontario
“Tax fraud not only hurts the industry and legitimate employers. At the end of the day this is about the fair and equitable treatment of workers, both those who suffer directly from the labor abuse and those who lose out on the decent, middle-class jobs that law-abiding contractors provide,” Douglas J. McCarron, President, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America
“The UBC is working hard with governments, honest contractors, and community stakeholders to level the playing field by shining a bright spotlight on the underground economy,” said Jason Rowe, Vice President Canada, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.
The Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario (“CDCO”) is composed of 16 affiliated Local Unions, including 3000 members of HOPE Local 2220 and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners across the province – representing over 30,000 workers in construction work.