Work­ers laid off from Muskrat Falls

Pen­necon said work­force may in­crease again in the spring

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - FRONT PAGE - BY EVAN CAREEN

Pen­necon re­ceived new ex­e­cu­tion pri­or­i­ties from its client, GE So­lu­tions Canada, last week due to the im­pact of ex­treme weather con­di­tions on the Muskrat Falls Con­verter Sta­tion / AC Sub­sta­tion Civil Works Project.

More than 200 work­ers at the Muskrat Falls site were sent home on Feb. 3 and only 80 of them are go­ing back for the time be­ing. The work­ers are on site with Pen­necon, a sub-con­trac­tor of GE Grid, and Sarah Con­stan­tine, cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager for Pen­necon, told TC Me­dia the lay­offs are due to new ‘ex­e­cu­tion pri­or­i­ties’ from GE due to ex­treme weather con­di­tions at the site.

“These new pri­or­i­ties seek to max­i­mize pro­duc­tiv­ity and de­liver best value by re­duc­ing work dur­ing the harsh win­ter months, and re­sum­ing a full work­load when con­di­tions im­prove in the spring/sum­mer of 2017,” Con­stan­tine said.

She said they ex­pect the work­force to in­crease again in the spring and em­ploy­ees re­ceived no­ti­fi­ca­tion in ac­cor­dance with their col­lec­tive agree­ment.

“This is a large and dy­namic project and it isn’t un­usual to have to take the time to clar­ify work scope and en­sure that our work­force is ef­fi­cient with the project needs and we’re all on the same page when it comes to ex­e­cu­tion pri­or­i­ties,” Con­stan­tine said to TC Me­dia when the work­ers were sent home on Feb. 3. “So that’s what we’re do­ing, tak­ing a step back, high-level big-pic­ture con­ver­sa­tions.”

FILE PHOTO

More than 100 work­ers were laid off on the Muskrat Falls site Feb. 10. The con­trac­tor, Pen­necon, said it may ramp back up again in the spring.

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