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CONSTRUCTION
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The Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA)
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for local contractors and workers.
To understand PCA’s mandate clearly, you
need to backtrack several decades to a time
when Canada’s construction industry was char-
acterized by the polar opposites of unionized
and non-unionized construction. However, over
the past 15 years, there’s been a significant shift
in approach. It’s been driven by a group of com-
panies that nurtured a very different relationship
with so-called ‘alternative unions’.
“It’s truly the best of all worlds,” says Paul
de Jong. “Contractors have the flexibility to
carry out work competitively, with the benefit
of a unionized workforce that ensures workers
are well trained and highly skilled. It’s what we
call a progressive model of construction.”
According to de Jong, the traditional union
environment has major shortcomings. In this
old model, multiple craft unions on a project
often fall into jurisdictional disputes that slow
project timelines and increase cost. The new
and more productive approach that de Jong
describes brings together skilled workers with
different skillsets who coordinate and execute
work as a composite team. “When workers
develop multiple skills, it’s a huge productivity
Paul de Jong, President of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada
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