FFAW-Unifor is requesting a meeting with the provincial Minister of Natural Resources, Siobhan Coady, and Memorial University President and Vice-Chancellor Gary Kachanoski to discuss the pre-approval of four companies from outside the province to perform the steel work fabrication on Memorial University’s Core Science building.
In 2012, then Premier Kathy Dunderdale secured $150 million through mediation with the oil industry to compensate for the loss of local contracts when the third Hebron Module was fabricated out of the province, contrary to the benefits agreement.
The University will award the work by March 31, 2016 to one of four pre-approved fabrication companies, two of which are from Quebec, one from Ontario and one from New Brunswick.
“This is a contradiction of the very fundamental principle that secured the money in the first place” says Greg Pretty, FFAW-Unifor’s Industrial Director. “So in essence, MUN is taking the penalty money for loss of skilled trades work on the Hebron agreement and creating a great deal of work for skilled trades and fabricators from out of province.”
“Our Union represents over 350 skilled trades women and men in the steel fabrication industry in this province, so it’s tough for workers to stand by and watch this unfold,” Pretty added. Workers want to know why they are being excluded from this work.
Memorial University’s Core Science Facility will contain about 6,000 tons of steel, the equivalent of 6.5 Mile One Stadiums. It will also deliver approximately 100,000 hours of work for fabricators.
FFAW-Unifor is asking for the province and the university to reconsider this move and in true spirit of benefits agreements, bring the work back to NL companies and our province’s skilled trades workers.
For media inquiries, please contact Greg Pretty at 709-743-6001