Human Resources, Labour and Employment
April 9, 2009
Provincial Government Gives Green Light to Collective Agreement for Construction at Long Harbour
The Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, today announced that in accordance with Section 70 of the Labour Relations Act, the Provincial Government has approved the issuance of a special project order (SPO) in relation to the construction of the Vale Inco hydromet plant in Long Harbour.
A SPO provides labour relations stability for the duration of a construction project by sanctioning the establishment of a labour relations framework that is uniquely tailored to the requirements of a particular project. In issuing this SPO, the Provincial Government has legitimized the collective agreement negotiated between the Resource Development Trades Council of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC) and the Long Harbour Employer�s Association (LHEA). Essentially, this SPO ensures the establishment of a work site where there is a prohibition on strikes and/or lockouts for the duration of the project.
"I was very pleased to see the council of unions and employers� organization jointly approach government to request a special project order for this significant project," said Minister Sullivan. "I know the parties are very excited about this project and the innovative collective agreement they have negotiated. Seeing business and labour working in partnership like this bodes well for future economic development and job creation and will go a long way to building on our healthy labour relations climate in Newfoundland and Labrador."
"This is an important agreement in the construction of the Long Harbour hydromet processing plant," said the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources. "The construction phase will take approximately four years and will result in the completion of a $2.2-billion facility that is projected to produce 50,000 tonnes of nickel per year using concentrate from the Voisey�s Bay mine in Labrador. When operational, the facility will provide well-paying jobs in the Placentia area for the next two decades, so it is very satisfying to see the construction phase about to begin.
For this project, Vale Inco has also signed an agreement with the RDC for special measures to advance women into union positions and for every worker to contribute 20 cents from every hour worked to support the implementation of plans to advance women in the workplace.
"As Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, I am particularly pleased to see the special project order reference the ongoing commitments by the company and the trades council; to women�s employment and diversity," said Minister Dunderdale. "The new fund is a huge accomplishment and the company and unions should be commended for their leadership and commitment to establish this support mechanism that will reduce barriers for women in entering the trades profession."
"We look forward to continuing the positive relations we have established with Vale Inco over our extensive work together on previous projects," said Dave Wade, Executive Director of the RDC. "Our member organizations are convinced that the provisions contained in our collective agreement, combined with our positive history of productivity and effective labour relations, will help us to recruit the highly skilled workers needed to support this project."
"Securing the special project order provides a solid operating framework for the construction phase for the Long Harbour Project," commented Rinaldo Stefan, Vale Inco�s Project Director for the Long Harbour Processing Plant. "It marks another important milestone that allows us to move forward in a collaborative fashion with the various building trade unions that will be working on the site."
Construction activity is planned to start April 11, 2009, with peak construction employment expected to occur in 2011. The hydromet processing plant is expected to employ an average of 450 people when it becomes operational in 2013.
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2009 04 09 3:40 p.m.
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