Trades council appeals for support

Renfrew County’s skilled trades workers are looking for political support in getting work at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories in Chalk River.

Trevor Richardson made a presentation to Pembroke city council last month on behalf of the county’s Building and Construction Trades Council.

The presentation followed an information protest by local electrical workers on Friday, July 13 that caused major traffic backups on Plant Road.

At issue is the awarding of a electrical sub-contract for work at CNL to an Exeter, Ontario firm.

Richardson told Pembroke council last week that he has “successfully worked and supervised many technically challenging projects” during a 34-year trades career, with a work history at Chalk River dating back to 1996.

“What has changed at AECL/CNL that excludes local labour on projects for which we are the most qualified and experienced?” he asked.

“Our specialized nuclear industry training was designed to protect workers, the public and area residents, and we are the best choice for the job.”

Richardson said everyone in Renfrew County – “rural and urban taxpayers and businesses of all sizes” – benefit from the “multiplier effect” of having local work awarded to local contractors.

“While technological change has had a profound impact on high-tech innovations used daily in modern construction processes, construction workers are very proud to be recognized as the ‘hard-tech’ workers who make highly technical sites like CNL possible,” he said.

Richardson said the Chalk River site has been “an important economic generator for over 65 years, creating jobs for workers and contractors.”

“At this critical time when only projects at Chalk River and Petawawa are generating employment, protecting existing jobs is crucial.”

> for the full story, pick up a copy of the Aug. 1 NRT…