Friday, 4 May 2012

Canada's Nuclear Industry in Jeopardy as SNC-Lavalin Faces Potential Strike

Wow! "Scientists, engineers, technologists and technicians vote overwhelmingly to strike - action could commence May 7th"!!!   "SNC-Lavalin faces more bad news as the union representing the majority of staff at its newly acquired nuclear reactor design company voted to authorize strike action. The Society of Professional Engineers and Associates (SPEA) held a strike vote yesterday: an unprecedented 95% of employees participated in the vote, with over 94% voting to authorize strike action.
"This vote is a stinging indictment of SNC-Lavalin's cavalier management style and brinkmanship bargaining. They claim employees are their greatest asset, and yet they attempt to extract a series of unacceptable concessions," said SPEA President, Peter White. "Their quest to maximize short term profits at the expense of employees is placing a major Ontario-based industry in jeopardy."
SNC Lavalin officials predict that Candu Energy's revenue stream will double over the next five years, not including Canadian opportunities, like an Ontario new build. These revenues are at risk because of an ongoing exodus of experienced staff from the newly privatized company, which SNC-Lavalin purchased from the federal government in October of last year.
"This is a watershed moment for the CANDU nuclear industry. Hundreds of experienced nuclear employees have already fled this company since the federal government announced the sale of AECL's commercial business to SNC-Lavalin last summer. Many more are poised to leave. We are fighting for the survival of the CANDU industry. We already face serious shortages of expertise in key areas. These shortages could become critical to ongoing projects if SNC-Lavalin doesn't change its approach." added White."

Here is the story on reuters: "The union representing 870 scientists, engineers and technologists at SNC Lavalin Group Inc's nuclear reactor division have voted 94 percent in favor of a strike mandate, the latest challenge for the hard-hit Canadian construction and engineering company.
SNC, which acquired Candu Energy from the Canadian government last year for C$15 million plus royalties, is currently caught up in allegations of bribery and improper payments that are now being investigated by police.
The Society of Professional Engineers and Associates said on Friday that it can call a strike after giving 72 hours notice and could be in position to walk off the job as soon as May 7.
The unionized staff, who design and maintain electricity-generating nuclear reactors in Canada, China, Argentina, Romania and Korea, have been without a contract since Dec. 31, 2010."

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