Labrador workforce numbers sliding at Muskrat Falls

Derek Montague
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Percentage of Labradorians onsite down three straight months

Muskrat Falss

The total number — and overall percentage — of Labradorians working on the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project has declined, according to the latest Muskrat Falls employment benefits report.

The latest report, for the month of January 2014, shows that 39.4 per cent of the employees working in Labrador for the Muskrat Falls project were Labrador residents.

This is 0.5 per cent lower than the previous month, and 2.4 per cent lower than October 2013, when the number of Labradorians working onsite was at its peak.

According to a Nalcor news release, employment levels, in general, were down onsite in January, because the contractor Astaldi was just getting geared up for the project.

“During the month Astaldi began mobilizing its equipment to the Muskrat Falls construction site. With the change in contractors, employment levels for the generating facility in Labrador were lower in January compared to where they were during the fall,” states the release.

 “Employment levels are expected to remain lower in the first few months of 2014 as Astaldi mobilizes its equipment to the site prior to the start of the large civil work for the powerhouse and spillway.”

Whether or not enough Labradorians are getting employed at Muskrats Falls has been a source of contention ever since the project started.

The controversy came to a head in February, when 20 Labradorians, claiming they were not given fair opportunity at a job, protested by blocking a portion of the Trans-Labrador Highway. For approximately three hours, the protestors prevented workers from entering the Muskrat Falls worksite.

The Labradorian requested an interview with Gilbert Bennett, Nalcor vice-president for the Lower Churchill project, but Bennett was out of the province and unable to be reached by press time.

Below is the percentage of jobs held by Labrador residents for the first 13 months of the Muskrat Falls project:

• January 2014 — 39.4 per cent;

• December 2013 — 39.9 per cent;

• November 2013—40.3 per cent;

• October 2013—41.8 per cent;

• September 2013—41.2 per cent;

• August 2013—39.8 per cent;

• July 2013—38.3 per cent;

• June 2013—40.3 per cent;

• May 2013—36.4 per cent;

• April 2013—37.6 per cent;

• March 2013—34.2 per cent;

• February 2013—30.8 per cent; and

• January 2013— 30.2 per cent.

 

Below is the total number of Labrador residents employed in Labrador for each month of the Muskrat Falls project.

• January 2014 — 303;

• December 2013 — 377;

• November 2013 — 435;

• October 2013 — 463;

• September 2013 — 462;

• August 2013 — 388;

• July 2013 — 321;

• June 2013 — 289;

• May 2013 — 228;

• April 2013 — 199;

• March 2013 — 173;

• February 2013 — 145; and

• January 2013 — 115.

derek.montague@thelabradorian.ca

Organizations: Trans-Labrador Highway

Geographic location: Muskrats Falls, Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Jonathan Michelin
    March 24, 2014 - 22:02

    Ive tried everything i could to get in, I know im not as skilled as some, I have 3 mechanics trades, be it not much hands on skills in them, and I have a commercial trucking course and alot of safety courses, I cannot get a call back, they gave the excuse they called my cell phone, I changed my number a few times and every time updated it as soon as i got it changed, getting jerked around

  • Michael terriak
    March 24, 2014 - 17:56

    I,m not the least surprised I have applied for training with the LATP as originally for a position as concrete craft worker,then I tried for a rebar crew member,then finally a scaffolders course.this morning I called Lionel Letemplier at pressure pipe in the valley and he told me himself that they do not have enough people for that course why do LATP have it so confusing,they at the valley office has no idea what's going on.This is not good for anyone who has worked many union jobs and has more experience then most who have applied.I have worked many structural areas even before I join Local1208.Here in Hopedale And also Happy Valley Goose Bay for that matter.Some one needs to smarten up and communicate between the Nain and Valley offices.