Effective November 1, 2023, the City of Toronto recognizes Labourers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) as the bargaining agent of construction labourers for projects awarded through City-issued procurements in the Institutional, Commercial and Industrial (ICI) sector of the construction industry.

This means that when the City procures a contractor for a construction project, the selected contractor must engage LiUNA members in the work where appropriate.


The City is bound by province-wide collective agreements to use workers in the nine trades unions in the ICI sector of the construction industry. The City’s labour trades contractual obligations include unions representing the following trades: carpenters, electrical workers, ironworkers, mechanical contractors and pipe trades, bricklayers, insulators, painters, glaziers and sheet metal workers. .

In June of 2019, City Council directed staff to negotiate a Voluntary Recognition Agreement (VRA) with LiUNA that would recognize collective bargaining rights for certain construction labourer work in the ICI sector of the construction industry.

Approximately half of all City construction contracts are in the ICI sector, and the City tenders several hundred million dollars worth of contracts in this sector annually.

Find further background information in the City Council decision.


Contractors hired to perform the following work do not need to use LiUNA members:

  • any projects under $400,000 (to be adjusted annually for inflation)
  • playgrounds
  • playscapes
  • splash pads
  • landscaping within parks
  • sports infrastructure within parks
  • hardscaping

Responsibilities of Bidders

The City awards projects to proponents that involve both union and non-union work. It is the responsibility of the successful bidder to familiarize themselves with the City’s Fair Wage Policy and its labour trade contractual obligations in the construction industry (collective agreements) that apply to this work, including the LiUNA VRA – and must commit to abide by them.

Bidders and potential bidders are responsible for collective agreement and Fair Wage compliance and should seek their own legal advice as to the applicability of the City’s collective agreements.

Bidders and potential bidders are also required to know and understand the labour environment for the City work they bid on. It is the responsibility of the successful bidder to ensure that the work performed in connection with a City contract will be done by a worker belonging to the appropriate labour trade union and/or the worker be paid the appropriate wage rate from the appropriate Fair Wage Schedule.


The City has updated its procurement documentation and processes to ensure compliance with this new requirement and will continue to work cooperatively with LiUNA on labour relations matters.