Province wants to end agreements that require government construction contractors to pay union dues

The Manitoba government introduced a bill Thursday that would do away with the former NDP government's practice of having one labour agreement cover all workers on major public construction projects.

Tories campaigned on a promise to end what they called 'forced unionization'

Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler said the change would allow companies that employ non-unionized workers to bid on government contractors. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

The Manitoba government introduced a bill Thursday that would do away with the former NDP government's practice of having one labour agreement cover all workers on major public construction projects.

The project labour agreements, as they're called, also require non-unionized workers to pay dues and be governed by the same requirements and benefits as their unionized counterparts.

The Tories campaigned on a promise to end what they called "forced unionization." Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler said the previous approach discouraged companies employing non-unionize workers from bidding for contracts.

The NDP and unions said the project labour agreements ensure a level playing field for all workers on a project and help ensure the projects are completed on time and on budget.