AltaLink’s Parent Company, SNC-Lavalin, Criticized for Bullying
Bloomberg writes, “In an action more befitting of a third world country, SNC-Lavalin’s Candu Energy has unilaterally stripped employees of working conditions and imposed new conditions on the highly skilled nuclear workforce.”
Bloomberg reports that Peter White, President of the Society of Professional Engineers and Associates, has said, “SNC-Lavalin is trying to bully our members into working under lowest terms of employment of any company in the nuclear industry, this tactic may work in Libya but not in Canada…SNC-Lavalin is acting more like Montgomery Burns of Simpson’s fame and if they keep this up in future they will only be able to recruit Homer Simpsons. Our members have built CANDU into a leader in the nuclear industry and now SNC-Lavalin is prepared to throw that away in one fell swoop. At a time when SNC-Lavalin can least afford another blow to their tarnished reputation, their newest division, Candu Energy, seems determined to drag it lower. They appear to believe that driving away their most valuable assets, their employees, which will result in the loss of the design expertise, is the best way to run a business.”
Marketwire reports that the nuclear scientists, engineers and technologists have responded to SNC’s bullying tactics with job action. Peter White said, “Ever since SNC-Lavalin bought Atomic Energy of Canada Limited from the Government of Canada for a bargain basement price they have targeted employees with a campaign of misinformation and disrespect. Over 200 employees have fled the company since the sale was announced, representing some of the best, brightest and most experienced workers. They have voted with their feet and yet the company continues to employ labour relations tactics more common to third world countries.”
Meanwhile, SNC-Lavalin is also being criticized by the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP) representing workers at SNC-Lavalin subsidiary Nexacor (AFI International Group Inc.). The union says SNC is demanding a 50% cut to pensions. CEP VP Barb Dolan said, “But our members are prepared to take strike action unless the company makes significant improvements to its offer, especially in the important areas of wages and pension contributions.”
SNC-Lavalin and its wholly owned subsidiary AltaLink are building many new high voltage power lines in Alberta, including the controversial 500kV Heartland and Western Alberta power lines. See this link for more on SNC’s and AltaLink’s troubles.