Withholding Wages = B’Bye City Contracts

J.H. Janßen

J.H. Janßen

Aurostar Inc. will not be able to work on City of Toronto contracts for two years, after it was found to be in non-compliance with the provisions of the Fair Wage Policy.

The Richmond Hill company had worked on the installation of new residential water and sewer connections, and associated work, for the City. A Fair Wage Office report concluded that the company failed to pay its workers’ earned, unpaid wages when due, resulting in several instances of Fair Wage Policy non-compliance over the past three years. Council made its decision July 16.

The two-year disqualification is made under Subsection 67-A10B of the Toronto Municipal Code. It starts from the day of council’s decision, and affects any city work that Aurostar Inc. is not currently under contract to perform.

Once the disqualification period is over, Aurostar will be placed on “probation” for one year.

The Fair Wage Office investigated complaints from Aurostar workers in 2011. The firm was ordered to pay 37 workers their owed wages, and to pay administrative penalties, for a total $258,750. In 2013, workers employed by Aurostar complained to the Fair Wage Office that they had not been paid over a four-week period for construction work on two projects.

According to a City report, the Fair Wage Policy is “designed to ensure that contractors awarded contracts with the City of Toronto pay their workers ‘fair wages’ for work performed.”

Aurostar came to the attention of the Toronto Star in 2010, for loutish behaviour during a sidewalk replacement project.

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