MONTREAL – The head of Canada’s largest private sector union is calling out SNC-Lavalin for firing the head of a union that represents hundreds of its engineers and other workers.
Unifor national president Lana Payne says SNC should reinstate Mark Chudak, who led the Society of Professional Engineers and Associates (SPEA) until he and another staffer at the engineering firm’s Candu Energy Inc. subsidiary were dismissed last month over allegations of sharing confidential information with an outside organization.
Payne says the move, which she claims is a retaliation amounting to anti-union behaviour, will have an impact on labour relations and employee morale.
The statement comes after a filing by SPEA to the Canada Industrial Relations Board earlier this year that claimed SNC managers were surveilling emails between the union and employees at the Candu nuclear division.
In an interview Friday, SNC chief executive Ian Edwards said the employees in question, who initially had been placed on paid administrative leave, had violated policies around information security.
He said unions are key to project delivery and that he hopes the Montreal-based company and SPEA, which represents some 900 workers at Candu, can regain a level of mutual respect.
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