Site C

IUOE Local 115 has campaigned to build Site C under agreements that protect workers

The Operating Engineers are BC’s dam builders.

We support the BC Government’s December 2017 decision to instruct BC Hydro to complete the Site C dam. Site C is currently Canada’s largest infrastructure project.

IUOE Local 115 and other mainstream construction unions were shut out of Site C’s first construction phase under the BC Liberals. In the second phase (spillways and generating station), we are pleased to be part of a project labour agreement with the prime contractor, AFDE, along with the Labourers International and CMAW (Carpenters.) Local 115 members have been active at Site C since summer 2018.

IUOE 115 Site C penstock photo AFDE

Lifting a penstock at Site C, May 2019. Photo courtesy AFDE

When the Site C project was announced by the BC Liberals in 2014, Local 115 started a campaign to ensure that the project would hire British Columbians and provide fair wages and protection for every worker.

The campaign included advertisements like the one below, featuring the workers who have built BC’s previous dams under the BC Hydro’s historic project labour agreements (PLAs). And we travelled to Victoria to meet with government officials, urging them to put BC workers first, and adopt a project labour agreement.

Local 115 Business Manager Brian Cochrane and retired dam builders visit Victoria in April 2015 for meetings with government ministers. (Photo: Chad Hipolito for The Globe and Mail)

The Liberals chose to go with a “low bid” approach that made for an unhappy workplace, high employee turnover, safety issues and delays, and big cost overruns. An independent review under the new NDP government found that “low bid” had been an expensive mistake.

In the second phase, IUOE Local 115 is part of a better-managed system, focused on quality construction and safety. Thee Site C project is back on track — on time, and on budget.


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