Protecting Open Shop Business Owners 2017-09-09T03:09:11+00:00

Protecting Open Shop Business Owners

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FAIR IS WORTH
THE FIGHT

In the spring of 1993, a group of concerned contractors and employees met in Halifax, Nova Scotia to discuss a Supreme Court decision called the Steen Decision and the effect this decision could potentially have on the construction industry in Nova Scotia.

The Steen Decision had ruled that any general contractor with a bargaining relationship with even one union would be only permitted to hire union subcontractors. As a result of this meeting, an organization was formed to represent open shop contractors and workers in the province who felt they would lose their right to work on construction sites in Nova Scotia and remain union free.

The organization was originally called The Right to Work and then later became known as Merit Contractors Association of Nova Scotia – and was successful in having the John Savage government pass a bill in legislature which reversed the Steen Decision. This allowed unionized general contractors to hire and partner with open shop contractors (and their employees) to work alongside each other on the same construction sites.

Apprenticeship
Agency is Born

In 2014 the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA) was established to ensure fairness across our construction industry with the mandate to:

 

  • work in partnership with all construction industry stakeholders;
  • designate trades for apprenticeship training and certification;
  • register and monitor apprenticeship agreements;
  • assess, counsel and certify apprentices and skilled tradespersons;
  • set standard for apprenticeship technical and workplace training;
  • recognize credentials and support labour mobility issues;
  • regulate and enforce trades designated under the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualifications Act; and
  • participate in the national Red Seal program and jurisdictional initiatives.

Apprenticeship
Agency is Born

In 2014 the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA) was established to ensure fairness across our construction industry with the mandate to:

 

  • work in partnership with all construction industry stakeholders;
  • designate trades for apprenticeship training and certification;
  • register and monitor apprenticeship agreements;
  • assess, counsel and certify apprentices and skilled tradespersons;
  • set standard for apprenticeship technical and workplace training;
  • recognize credentials and support labour mobility issues;
  • regulate and enforce trades designated under the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualifications Act; and
  • participate in the national Red Seal program and jurisdictional initiatives.

Merit Looking Forward

Merit Nova Scotia and its members (all of whom own or are employees of an open shop construction business) work to accelerate the freedom and flexibility required to keep people working. For us it’s that simple – if that means we partner with union affiliates so be it. Partnership for mutually beneficial reasons like apprenticeship, attracting talent to our province, or sharing expertise and resources is something we fully buy into as members.

That said, it also means we refuse to back down to eliminate unfair legislation like Any Given Day that puts our open shop businesses and employees at an unnecessary disadvantage. We keep it simple and professional – with a focus on growth and support.