BC Building Trades Critical of BC Hydro Contract Award For Main Civil Work at Site C
New Westminster, BC. The BC Building Trades are disappointed that BC Hydro has awarded the main civil work contract at Site C to a consortium which does not include any BCBT affiliates and workers.
“This is a bad decision for BC and for BC workers,” says Tom Sigurdson, Executive Director. “BC Hydro has cast aside successful past practice in building Site C,” he says.
“Instead of using a project labour agreement, pioneered by WAC Bennett, and used to build every BC Hydro dam since the 1960s, Hydro has adopted a new construction model that we believe adds unnecessary and unacceptable risk to the project.
“Premier Clark has long said that BC workers should be first in line for Site C work,” says Sigurdson. “This has not been the case so far under the first major contract awarded to a large Alberta company which has one of four workers on site from out-of-province.”
He adds that this has upset many in Fort St John, including community leaders and local workers and businesses.
“It will get worse,” he says. “Without a project labour agreement we doubt that BC workers will be given priority for Site C jobs.”
“Minister Bennett said this fall that using such an agreement would increase the cost of Site C by $3 billion. He has not been able to support that argument which is, frankly, ridiculous.”
“Skilled and experienced BC dam builders will be sitting idle while BC Hydro builds Site C with less experienced workers, many from outside BC and, we expect, many from offshore. This is not acceptable to our 39,000 members and we wonder if it is acceptable to Premier Clark and Ministers Bennett and Bond?”
Sigurdson goes on to say that BCBT affiliates offered diversity and apprenticeship opportunities that will now not be brought to Site C.
“This is a tragedy for the future workers BC needs and local aboriginal communities.”
Contact the BC Building Trades office