December 19, 2002
(Mines and Energy)
The following statement was issued today by Lloyd Matthews, Minister of Mines and Energy. It was also read in the House of Assembly:
Signing of the Voisey’s Bay collective agreement
I rise in the house today to congratulate the Resource Development Council and the Voisey’s Bay Employers Association on the signing of their collective agreement for construction activities at the Voisey’s Bay mine and mill/concentrator site in Labrador.
This afternoon’s signing ceremony is indeed another milestone for the Voisey’s Bay project. We have already witnessed the establishment of important infrastructure at the Voisey’s Bay site including a new road, temporary airstrip, port facilities and an expansion to the camp facility which have employed in excess of 200 people. The signing of this agreement now paves the way for the expansion of an already impressive work program which will continue to grow next year.
The Resource Development Council represents 17 unions at the Voisey’s Bay site. This organization will act as the negotiating body for all of the unions at the site, making the negotiation process much more efficient. This organization also understands the adjacency commitments made to the Labrador Inuit Association, Innu Nation and qualified Labradorians. Government has been assured that this adjacency principle will be followed.
Government has continued to monitor the activities associated with the Voisey’s Bay project since the signing of the Statement of Principles in June. I am pleased to say that the commitments that were made by the Voisey’s Bay Nickel Company Limited during this past work season have been kept. Eighty-four per cent of the work force employed with the Voisey’s Bay project were from Newfoundland and Labrador. This is a very impressive figure and government expects to see an increasing number of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians employed with this highly beneficial project as it matures.
I ask this house to join me in congratulating the Resource Development Council and the Voisey’s Bay Employers Association on the signing of this contract. I am certain that the substantial majority of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who support the Voisey’s Bay project have once again realized that this government reached a very good deal for this province.
2002 12 19 1:45 p.m.