Know your rights
You have rights
Worker's rights are protected by law.
Canada's unions have a long and historic place in the trades. They help workers negotiate the terms and conditions of their work with their employers.
The labour movement has also taken a strong stand against fly-by-night companies. Read the report by the Ontario Construction Secretariat: The Underground Economy: Bad for the Construction Industry, Bad for Government Too.
Search the Directory of Labour Organizations in Canada to find the unions active in your trade.
Health and safety
You have the right to a safe work environment. Falls, hazardous materials, fire, getting injured, hearing loss, overexertion, substance abuse, and negligent co-workers hurt almost one million Canadian workers each year.
Hazardous materials are the silent killers of the construction industry. Residential and commercial work sites can contain leftover paints, adhesives, caulks, wood preservatives or other chemicals hazards.
For more information, visit the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety website.
You have responsibilities
Building code and certifications
In the trades there are always building codes and permits required as well as the certification needed to work on job sites. It's all just part of the job.
Order the National Research Council 2010 National Building Code of Canada and other construction publications.
Visit the Red Seal Program's Ellis Chart to learn what journeyman certification is required for your trade in your province.
Knowing and understanding your responsibilities when it comes to working under the table or doing cash jobs is an important part of the job. Paying your fair share doesn't begin and end on payday. Report your income consistently, regardless of the source, and then the job is truly done.