The BC Building Trades and BC Hydro have agreed on the importance of labour stability on the Site C Clean Energy Project, recognising that stability is best achieved with a mix of labour representation. This framework will allow the project to operate as a managed open site, that includes participation from union and non-union workers, as well as independent and First Nations contractors.
“This agreement ensures workers from all labour groups can build Site C together, and paves the way for the labour stability that I believe British Columbians want, as we undertake to build the largest hydro-electric project in a generation,” said Jessica McDonald, President and CEO, BC Hydro. “It allows for a managed open site, and also takes important steps to ensure the BC Building Trades unions will take part in the construction along with all other B.C. workers.”
The BC Building Trade unions have waived the practice of signing Project Labour Agreements which restrict other, non-affiliated organizations from working on site. The two parties have agreed to no strike, no lockout, no raiding provisions, and no organizing on the Main Civil Works component of the project.
“The agreement represents a compromise and reflects the desire of our members to work on the project at union wages and benefits, while also respecting the mixed site model of the employer,” said Tom Sigurdson, executive director of the BC Building Trades. “I am sure that we can get through the next steps and ensure this critical project will be built to the highest standards by British Columbians.”
The first test of the new framework will come as companies prepare to bid on civil work, the largest section of which will be the extensive earth moving and land clearing to prepare for actual construction of the dam.