CLAC Applauds Site C Decision, Cautions against Restrictive Project Labour Agreements
Fort St. John, BC—CLAC, the union representing hundreds of workers on the Site C Clean Energy Project, applauds the BC government’s decision to complete construction of the largest public infrastructure project in the history of the province.
“We believe this is the right decision for Site C workers, rate payers, the environment, and the future of our province,” says Ryan Bruce, CLAC spokesperson.
The provincial government directed the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) to complete an inquiry weighing the possibility of suspending or terminating the Site C Clean Energy Project. CLAC responded by advocating on behalf of the project’s workers and affected communities, launching its “People of Site C” campaign, writing letters to Premier John Horgan and Green Party leader Andrew Weaver, presenting at multiple BC Utilities Commission hearings, and meeting with the Green Party caucus.
“On behalf of our 10,000 members in British Columbia, and all of those working at Site C, we fully support Premier Horgan’s decision to continue the project,” says Bruce. “Now our government must ensure that the project, which was on time and on budget prior to the review process, remains open to all British Columbians.”
As noted in his media address today, the premier is responsible to “4.5 million British Columbians,” yet he hinted at the introduction of project labour agreements, which could eliminate employment opportunities for the vast majority of the construction workforce.
“To reintroduce project labour agreements that limit access to work to members of specific unions would be a huge step backward for the workers of BC,” says Bruce. “The managed open site model maximizes innovation in construction, safety, and community development, but perhaps most importantly, protects the fundamental right of workers to choose their union representation.”
CLAC members have performed the vast majority of the work on the project under the managed open site model, which ensures that workers are able to participate in the construction of public infrastructure projects regardless of their union affiliation.
“British Columbians should be wary of any effort to allow a select few unions to determine who has the right to access work on public projects,” says Bruce. “The goal of the government should be to maximize opportunities for all of BC’s workers.”