USING OUT-OF-PROVINCE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS UNACCEPTABLE – TRADES NL REPEATS CALL FOR GOVERNMENT TO IMPLEMENT BENEFIT AGREEMENTS

News Release

USING OUT-OF-PROVINCE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS UNACCEPTABLE
– TRADES NL REPEATS CALL FOR GOVERNMENT TO IMPLEMENT BENEFIT AGREEMENTS

May 1, 2020 – In response to evidence that out-of-province construction workers have been granted an exemption to enter Newfoundland and Labrador and work on public infrastructure projects without self-isolating for 14-days, Trades NL is calling upon government to withdraw the exemption immediately.

“At a time when our province has been doing extremely well fighting Covid-19 by following professional health advice and maintaining a significant shut-down of industries, including construction, it is difficult to understand why government would grant construction workers from out-of-province an exemption from the 14-day isolation order to work on their own public infrastructure projects. This latest development is both disappointing and unacceptable, therefore we are calling on government to withdraw this exemption for the protection of our local workers.”

  • John Leonard, President, Trades NL

Since March 18, 2020 when the Provincial Government declared a Public Health Emergency, Newfoundland and Labrador skilled trades workers, like everyone else, have obeyed the orders, practiced enhanced workplace safety, and took all measures to keep themselves, families and co-workers safe, resulting in thousands becoming unemployed.

The latest list of instances where out-of-province construction workers are brought in to work on public infrastructure projects paid for by Newfoundland and Labrador residents is further reason for Trades NL to renew its call for the provincial government to implement a Newfoundland and Labrador Benefits Agreement policy, which would support local employment opportunities.

A Newfoundland and Labrador Benefits Agreement (NLBA) model would:

– employ qualified NL skilled trade workers first;

– source local NL contractors, services & suppliers; and

– develop the NL skilled trade workforce.

NLBA’s will be a policy that sets out hiring provisions on publicly funded infrastructure projects, in advance of tending and procurement, levelling the playing field for both workers and contractors.

“Last week we wrote government, after a year of discussions, asking them to demonstrate a provincial commitment to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians by implementing benefit agreements on public infrastructure, as we are seeing in so many other provinces. This is not a new concept as we see them in many other jurisdictions, and they have been used on resource projects here before. There is no better time than now to stand together in supporting, and providing opportunities for, our residents.”

  • Darin King, Executive Director, Trades NL

Click here to view a copy of the Trades NL letter to Premier regarding out-of-province workers

Click here to view a copy of the Trades NL letter to Ministers Crocker and Mitchelmore regarding NL Benefit Agreements

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.

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Media Contact:

Corey Parsons

Manager of Communications

709-832-5116

cparsons@tradesnl.com