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Ironworkers still have no firm word they'll get work at long-term care build in Corner Brook

Todd Murphy is seen at the site of the new long-term care build in Corner Brook. He and other local ironworkers are upset no locals have been hired at the site.
Todd Murphy is seen at the site of the new long-term care build in Corner Brook. He and other local ironworkers are upset no locals have been hired at the site. - Diane Crocker

With a hint of a resolution coming, Todd Murphy wasn’t prepared to give up his fight for work.

Murphy is among a group of local ironworkers who have been demonstrating at the site of the new long-term care facility in Corner Brook for the past week.

They’re upset that P.E.I.-based MacDougall Steel Erectors Inc. has not hired any local ironworkers for the steel portion of the build.

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Humber-Bay of Islands MHA Eddie Joyce visited the site on Friday to tell the men the company would hire local workers.

Murphy had some questions — how many, when and will it be 100 per cent local — that Joyce couldn’t answer.

“What he came and told us was nothing,” said Murphy.

And he told the MHA as much.

“I said what you’re telling us, that’s only something to see if we’re going to go away.”

Murphy can see the site from his home in Summerside and said he could stay home and watch the work from there or he could go to the site.

He opted to go back to the site at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, and he wasn’t alone.

“We’re not going nowhere. We’re staying.”

While the men are members of the Ironworkers Local 764, they say they are not at the site under the union banner. They are there as local guys who are experienced and who are looking for work.

Murphy said the men, many who have been without work for months, are prepared to go to work even if the job is non-union.

He said they told all that to Corner Brook MHA Gerry Byrne when they met up with him in the parking lot of the Sir Richard Squires Building on Friday morning.

Francis Simms, the union’s business agent had been at the site up until Thursday evening. He said Saturday he was just there to help mediate between the ironworkers and the contractors on the build.

Joyce was contacted for comment on this story on Saturday morning and had not called back by mid-afternoon.

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