Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Candu strike is leading to brain drain, union warns

Candu strike is leading to brain drain, union warns: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/candu-strike-is-leading-to-brain-drain-union-warns/article4483047/ ..."SNC-Lavalin Group is mired in a lengthy strike with unionized engineers and scientists at its Candu Energy unit that is raising concerns about a brain drain at the company and its ability to provide service to Canada’s nuclear-power operators.
The battle is part of the restructuring at the Candu division of former Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., which SNC purchased from Ottawa for $15-million last year. The federal government had grown frustrated by AECL’s constant cost overruns which were backstopped by taxpayers, and SNC made it clear it intended to force more commercial discipline on the former Crown corporation." ... "The “anecdotal evidence” of the loss of senior engineers and scientists worries Candu customers like Duncan Hawthorne, chief executive officer at Bruce Power which is restarting two reactors after a lengthy and much-delayed refurbishment.
“There definitely has to be some level of concern” about the labour dispute, Mr Hawthorne said in an interview Wednesday. “These people are the heart and soul of the Candu design, and to the extent some of that is lost, it could hurt the industry.”
The country’s nuclear power stations don’t depend on Candu Energy for routine operations and maintenance, but Mr. Hawthorne says its expertise can be critical for specific problems or in a major retooling. A spokesman at Ontario Power Generation – which owns nuclear stations at Pickering and Darlington – said its operations are unaffected by the strike.
SPEA vice-president Mike Ivanco, who works as a scientist at Candu Energy, said SNC-Lavalin let go about 100 people after formally taking over in October, but then had to hire most of them back. Since then, some 70 senior engineers and scientists have left, he said."

the story on reuters: http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/08/15/canada-nuclear-strike-idINL2E8JF7HE20120815

more on brain drain: http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/business/archives/2012/08/20120815-194529.html 

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