BC Building Trades blasts provincial government and BC Hydro over Site C employment statistics

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NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. – The BC Building Trades Council is not happy with the provincial government and BC Hydro after the Crown Corporation released employment statistics for the Site C project during the month of November 2016.

BC Building Trades Executive Director Tom Sigurdson called it,”simply unacceptable” after the report showed that a total of 246 project workers, or 18 percent were from outside BC.

“There are thousands of skilled and qualified British Columbians available and ready to work on this project,” said Sigurdson. “Instead, BC Hydro has allowed contractors to bring in hundreds of out of province workers each month to work on the project.”

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Building Trades members have negotiated agreements with BC Hydro to build every dam in BC for the past 60 years. The Allied Hydro agreement was put in place in 1963 by the late Premier W.A.C. Bennett. BC Hydro recently broke with that historic labour supply model for the Site C project. Consequently, thousands of unionized construction workers have not secured employment on the project.

“We are proud of our historic role as dam builders in this province. We have a model that puts British Columbians to work,” said Sigurdson. “Employment Statistics from recent projects we’ve worked on demonstrate the vast majority of workers are sourced from local communities and only 1-5% come from out of province.”

In contrast, BC Hydro is only employing 47% of workers from the Peace River region and only 82% from BC. “There is no excuse for leaving certified British Columbians on the side lines on this project,” said Sigurdson. “Month after month, BC Hydro proudly releases employment statistics that they should be ashamed of.”

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