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B.C. Building Trades claim Site C bids are behind schedule

JOC News Service
B.C. Building Trades claim Site C bids are behind schedule

The B.C. Building Trades is concerned that BC Hydro isn’t making enough progress towards construction labour agreements for its Site C project.

According to Building Trades, it is increasingly concerned by project timelines and the "slow pace of progress" towards construction labour agreements with the four project proponents.

"Our organization and 15 affiliate trade unions, representing some 35,000 men and women, continue to believe that Site C is essential to B.C.’s future prosperity," said B.C. Building Trades executive director Tom Sigurdson.

"We also believe that it is essential that this taxpayer-funded project be built by British Columbians first and foremost, and we’d be disappointed to see Site C project parking lots full of Alberta license plates, while B.C. workers, who pay B.C. taxes, are idle."

According to the Building Trades, a sub-group of its affiliates remains in discussions with construction consortiums considering bids for Site C’s massive civil works component.

"Bids for this billion dollar-plus contract are due in the next few weeks and while we continue to work with BC Hydro and proponents under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding we signed with Hydro on May 22, 2015 we are concerned by possible project delays as construction labour agreements are not in place," said Sigurdson.

"Proponents and our affiliates are struggling with a lack of clear direction from Hydro.

"We have the skilled, guaranteed, B.C.-first labour supply Site C contractors need to build this project to the high quality and environmental standards the public and government expects."

He said the council wants to ensure that B.C. workers have first-call on Site C jobs and form the bulk of the workforce.

"We will remain at the table with Hydro and proponents to reach an agreement that meets their needs plus those of BC workers," he said.

BC Hydro was contacted for comment but did not respond before press deadline.

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