News Release


April 29, 2020 – In a letter to Premier Dwight Ball, Trades NL and the Construction Labour Relations Association (CLRA) are encouraging the Provincial Government to establish an Economic Recovery Task Force in response to Covid-19 with a focus to establish a responsible plan to support economic stimulus in Newfoundland and Labrador, in a manner that generates construction activity and keeps construction workers safe.

“While everyone’s first priority must be health and safety, and we recognize that we are not past this pandemic, we are asking government to establish an Economic Recovery Task Force to begin the process of establishing an approach which supports economic recovery , and phased-in plan for construction projects with a focus on safe work environments.  We recognize there will be challenges, but with proper planning, testing, and coordinated collective efforts there are opportunities to phase-in work on major projects and construction activity when deemed safe to do so.”

        • Terry French, President, Construction Labour Relations Association

Through past experiences construction activity has proven to be one of the greatest economic stimulators available: putting people to work; supporting local businesses through the supply of goods and services; and generating more disposable income for families, all stimulating economic activity.

The Economic Recovery Task Force focus would:

  • Work with all levels of government, industry and labour partners to identify a plan to safely re-open construction projects in a responsible way. This will include establishing safety protocols to protect workers while supporting the ability to get projects moving;
  • Identify infrastructure projects that will provide immediate job creation, diversification and workforce development;
  • Work with resource (hydro, mining, oil & gas) developers to kick-start or restart projects; and
  • Work with relevant partners to establish planning to move forward on previously announced public infrastructure projects, including the provincial mental health facility, corrections institution, and Labrador link.

“When the timing is appropriate, we would like to be part of a strategy or plan to stimulate the economy, getting people back to work safely and providing income for their families.  When our members are working and making money, they tend to spend locally on goods and services, which is proven to be the fastest way to stimulate the local economy.  We are offering our organization’s support and assistance in such an initiative, ensuring projects get moving and people working.”

        • Darin King, Executive Director, Trades NL

Both organizations suggest the Economic Recovery Task Force be comprised of various government ministers, senior officials, business and industry leaders and other stakeholders. They emphasize the importance of getting the collective planning done early, and projects shovel ready, to ensure our province is ready.

Trades NL is an umbrella labour organization which promotes and coordinates the interests of 16 building and construction trades unions, representing more than 18,000 skilled trades workers in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Our members are highly qualified, very productive and extremely safe.

The CLRA is the sole and exclusive bargaining agent for all unionized employers employing unionized trade persons engaged in the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors of the construction industry in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Click here to view a copy of the letter

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Media Contacts:

Corey Parsons                                                                         Danielle Browne

Manager of Communications                                              Director of Communications & Training

Trades NL                                                                                 CLRA

709-832-5116                                                                           709-682-8686