MISSISSAUGA, ONT. — The union representing SNC-Lavalin staff has issued a statement condemning the firm for what it says are continuing threats to lay off nuclear division staff while issuing public statements that the division has posted strong results.
The Society of Professional Engineers and Associates (SPEA) represents engineers, scientists, technicians, technologists, skilled tradespersons, designers, operations and administrative staff employed by SNC-Lavalin.
SNC-Lavalin’s first quarter 2020 results were discussed in a May 7 earnings call.
The union statement said management singled out the Nuclear and Infrastructure Services segments for strong performance that “more than offset” a decrease in revenue and earnings in the Engineering Design and Project Management segment. SNC-Lavalin management described the Nuclear and Infrastructure Service segments as “proving to be resilient in the current COVID-19 environment, due to a combination of their services to industry being considered essential services, and the nature of their long-term contracts.”
Since the beginning of the year, SNC-Lavalin’s Candu Energy has won at least 12 new contracts, said the union.
Even with the good results, “management continues to threaten the more than 1,000 Canadian nuclear employees at its Candu Energy subsidiary with layoffs,” said the union.
“Management is seeking to cut staff that have once again this quarter driven results.”
Many publicly traded companies have suspended dividends to preserve cash and avert cuts to frontline workers, but SNC-Lavalin has confirmed it has left shareholder dividends untouched, said the union.
“SPEA is simply asking SNC-Lavalin to align its human capital management practices with its new business strategy, and protect the people who drive its results,” said Denise Coombs, SPEA staff representative. “Layoffs are a short-term fix that will only serve to strengthen Candu Energy’s competitors.”