Late last week, the Residential Construction Council of Ontario launched a new campaign aimed at bringing employers, unions, and governments together to address racism in the construction industry.
RESCON’s Sept. 10 webinar incorporated discussions on employers’ legal obligations when dealing with incidents involving racial discrimination. A separate panel discussion focused on anti-racism and diversity efforts undertaken by builder and labour groups.
RESCON cited the recent discovery of nooses in construction sites as a major driver of its campaign.
“Our industry responded quickly and was the first to condemn racist acts that occurred recently on Toronto construction sites,” said Richard Lyall, RESCON president. “The webinar brought together employer, union and government voices needed to make meaningful change.”
RESCON’s Construction Against Racism Everywhere (CARE) campaign will be educating construction employers and workers.
“We have always taken a leadership role in fighting racism and discrimination in the construction industry,” Lyall said. “We are very proud of the fact that we have a multi-racial, multi-cultural and incredibly diverse workforce in Ontario’s construction industry and racist behaviour of any kind or in any form will not be tolerated by any of our employers.”
Along with its board of directors, RESCON will also be organizing a coalition of employers, unions, and sub-trades, with a focus on finding effective solutions to industry racism.
“We intend to work closely with construction employers and unions, the provincial and municipal governments to address racism in all forms,” said Bruno Giancola, chair of RESCON’s board of directors. “While the recent incidents in no way exemplify the majority of the 400,000 workers, contractors and builders who work in Ontario’s construction industry, RESCON is aware that there is a problem and will continue to do all that we can to learn and educate the workforce.”