RESCON launches campaign to combat job site racism following incidents in Toronto
The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) is looking to bring together contractors, unions and government to address racism on job sites across the province.
The Construction Against Racism Everywhere (CARE) campaign follows a string of widely condemned incidents involving nooses found on jobs sites in Toronto this summer.
“Our industry responded quickly and was the first to condemn racist acts that occurred recently on Toronto construction sites,” Richard Lyall, RESCON’s president, said in a Sept. 10 release.
“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,” he added.
RESCON, which represents both low-rise and multi-family builders, plans to hand out hard hat stickers to employers and is spearheading the formation of a coalition of employers, unions and sub-trades designed to force cultural changes in construction.
The CARE Campaign incl. visuals that will be circulated to members to post around job sites, on hard hats, trucks etc. We are committed to not only developing the CARE campaign, but work w/industry, gov't & stakeholders to ensure inclusivity for all in construction. #RESCONCARE pic.twitter.com/o01bbOD5ql
— RESCON (@_RESCON) September 10, 2020
Toronto police have been investigating each of the five incidents involving nooses found on Toronto job sites this summer as hate crimes. In late July, a member of the Carpenters Local 27 was forced to resign when the hate symbol was found on a midtown job site.
Over the past several months construction companies, industry groups, unions and government have been taking steps to address the problem. Toronto Mayor John Tory, for instance, has met with industry leaders during each of the previous two weeks to discuss ways of eradicating anti-Black racism.
Along with launching the CARE campaign, RESCON hosted a webinar last week focussed on employers’ obligations when dealing with racism and discrimination, plus a separate panel on anti-racism and diversity efforts at the contractor and labour group levels.