Operating Engineers Local 115 supports approval of Pacific Northwest LNG plant but calls on proponent, BC and federal governments to guarantee BC workers and businesses, First Nations get top priority for thousands of construction jobs – not Temporary Foreign Workers
Union working with Lax Kwa’alaams First Nation on training, apprenticeships for project
VANCOUVER – BC’s biggest heavy construction union local is cautiously supporting the federal government’s approval of the Pacific Northwest LNG plant but is calling for guarantees that local workers, businesses and First Nations get top priority for thousands of construction jobs.
And the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 115 says the proponent and the BC and federal governments need to ensure the public that Temporary Foreign Workers will not be used to displace Canadian workers on the giant LNG project.
“The Pacific Northwest LNG project’s environmental approval is very good news for BC members of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 115, who are standing by to help build this important energy facility,” says Brian Cochrane, Business Manager of Local 115.
“It is critical that highly skilled and trained BC and Canadian workers receive the top priority for construction jobs at the Pacific Northwest LNG – we need to ensure that local workers and businesses benefit the most from this major project,” Cochrane said.
IUOE Canadian Director Lionel Railton says the past bitter experience of seeing Temporary Foreign Workers hired for the controversial HD Mining project and others has left union members and other Canadians concerned.
“In the past, too many construction jobs have gone to Temporary Foreign Workers who do not live in our communities or contribute to our country,” Railton said. “This project needs Canadian workers to develop Canadian resources to take to market, to provide middle class-supporting jobs and the tax base governments need to fund our health care and social programs.”
“We call on BC and federal governments and Pacific Northwest LNG to make clear commitments about employing skilled and trained local, BC and Canadian workers for the overwhelming majority of positions created and ensuring that First Nations workers receive jobs and skills training for the project,” Railton says.
Cochrane noted that his union local has been working closely with the Lax Kwa’alaams First Nation on training initiatives that will prepare their community members for apprenticeships on the Pacific Northwest LNG project as well as other projects within their traditional territory.
“IUOE Local 115 reaffirms its strong commitment to the Lax Kwa’alaams First Nation on their inclusion in obtaining jobs and apprenticeships on this project through our union and its leading training programs,” Cochrane said. “This is a unique opportunity to develop an important natural resource in an environmentally responsible way and at the same time provide training and apprenticeships to First Nations workers that will last a lifetime.
Also on Roundhouse 98.3 – Vancouver radio station
For more information:
- Brian Cochrane, Business Manager, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 115, cell 604-240-0827 or office 604-291-8831
- Lionel Railton at cell 604-308-1678
- Bill Tieleman, West Star Communications, cell 778-896-0964 or office 604-844-7827