News Release


November 15, 2019 – Trades NL is congratulating Members of the House of Assembly on adopting the private members’ resolution brought forward by PC MHA Lloyd Parrott Wednesday regarding the implementation of a community benefits policy, and urges government to act quickly to implement this policy on provincial infrastructure work before further opportunities are lost.

“We were pleased to be in the legislature yesterday and witness unanimous support from MHA’s in all political parties for the implementation of a Community Benefits Strategy. Now, we must continue this momentum and implement it as policy on Provincial Infrastructure work as soon as possible, so that we do not miss job opportunities on the new mental health facility and new prison.”

  • John Leonard, President, Trades NL

For the last 8 months, Trades NL has been advocating through their NL FIRST: Our Resources Our Benefits campaign, for government to implement a Newfoundland & Labrador Benefits Agreement (NLBA) policy on all provincial infrastructure and resource development activity in this province.  Such NL First policy would include the following provisions:

  1. All public infrastructure work paid for by the taxpayers of the province will require the following hiring priority:
    1. qualified Newfoundlander and Labrador residents
    2. qualified Canadians
    3. other
  2. Contractors will be required to develop and submit (for approval) a plan to include the following:
    1. Hiring of apprentices
    2. A plan for diversity: hiring of women, indigenous, and other underrepresented groups (with clear targets identified by government).
  3. Contractors/companies will be required to submit regular (monthly) employment reports.
  4. Government will assign an employee(s) to monitor monthly reports for compliance.
  5. Government will include in all contracts a non-compliance penalty.

The Trades NL model of a Benefits Agreement policy is about fairness, transparency and accountability, where both union and non-union contractors may bid on NLBA projects; the only requirement is adhering to the provisions of the pre-determined benefits agreement; and where the provisions are known upfront, levelling the playing field for all bidders.

Now is the time to implement this Benefits Agreement policy in Newfoundland & Labrador, where government has a very progressive infrastructure strategy to spend $3B over the next 5 years and the provincial economy is experiencing a construction slowdown resulting in work shortages.  Furthermore, these benefit agreement policies already exist in most other provinces in our country where governments are taking care of their residents first.

“Now that we have everyone pulling in the same direction, implementation of this NL FIRST policy will have an immediate benefit for the residents of our province.  There is no better time to do the right thing, then to support giving first hiring priority to Newfoundland and Labrador residents on public and resource development projects.”

  • Bob Fiander, Vice-President, Trades NL

Further information on the campaign can be found at, where you can show your support to maximize benefits for Newfoundland and Labrador residents by signing the letter!

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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.


Media Contact:

Corey Parsons

Manager of Communications & External Affairs