Letter to Edmonton Mayor, Amarjeet Sohi

Posted on June 18, 2024

His Worship Amarjeet Sohi
Mayor, City of Edmonton
2nd Floor, City Hall
1 Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, AB T5J 2R7

Dear Mayor Sohi,

I write to you today regarding proposed changes to the City of Edmonton’s Living Wage Policy (C612B).

It is disappointing to see the removal of “Employees of Contracted Services” language from the current policy, one that was already insufficient in ensuring contracted workers could earn a proper living wage.

We are currently seeing thousands of inadequately skilled workers from outside the country employed on many city projects - like ongoing LRT construction - through contractors and sub-contractors that are not paying fairly. This has put worker and infrastructure safety at risk and has brought down the earning ability for many who labour in Edmonton’s construction industry.

Unfortunately, the lack of adequate enforcement of the already imperfect Living Wage policy as it stands to help these contracted workers has cost working people and taxpayers’ money and has harmed the city’s reputation as a fair employer.

The elimination of “Employees of Contracted Services” from a Living Wage Policy will only make a bad situation worse.

This revised, rolled back policy could make it harder for contracted workers already fighting to survive Edmonton’s cost of living crisis to earn a wage that allows them to support themselves, their families, and their communities. Edmonton can do better.

What we need are Project Labour Agreements (PLAs) signed with labour unions who provide services through their contractors to the City of Edmonton, much like Toronto does.

PLAs could include provisions that guarantee fair wages, benefits, pension, safety language and more. They could include social procurement language that would ensure women, Indigenous, new Canadians, youth, apprentices, and more are given an equal opportunity to work on city projects. They can also help ensure proper enforcement of the rules.

The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 955 has long advocated to see policy around living wage that’s enforceable and puts workers first.


Chris Flett,
Business Manager, IUOE Local 955

Back to Most Recent