TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 10, 2012) -
Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.
Today at press conference in front of SNC-Lavalin's offices in Oakville, Michael Ivanco, Vice President of the Society of Professional Engineers and Associates (SPEA) gave an update on the status on negotiations and actions taken by SPEA.
"Our negotiating team met with SNC-Lavalin representatives until midnight on Sunday and we thought we might be able to avoid a work stoppage. SPEA has demonstrated a flexible and reasonable approach in its negotiations," said Ivanco.
"We have made a major concession to our pension package. We have agreed to switch from a defined benefit plan, which is the industry norm, to a significantly inferior defined contribution plan. We thought an Agreement would quickly follow; yet SNC-Lavalin continues to seek more concessions beyond pensions," he pointed out.
Ivanco said, "SPEA wants a competitive contract that is in line with the rest of the nuclear industry. We want to keep Candu Energy alive and strong for many years and the only way to do that is by retaining and attracting the best and the brightest engineers, scientists and technologists."
The stakes are high for both Ontario and the country. Half of Ontario's energy and sixteen percent of Canada's energy are derived from CANDU nuclear reactors. Tens of thousands of high quality professional, technical and skilled jobs in this province - the nuclear supply chain - depend on the CANDU industry.
"SPEA has been committed to the long term survival of CANDU. Our members have over a quarter century invested in this technology," said Ivanco. "We are determined to keep CANDU alive and thriving, despite the obstacles that SNC-Lavalin has placed in our path."
Ivanco remained positive saying; "We will be back at the negotiating table on Wednesday and hope that they come back with a fair and reasonable offer before this dispute escalates any further."
Ivanco addressed a concern among Canadians stating:
"We believe that CANDU is the best and safest nuclear technology. We have designed it, supervised its construction and helped with its maintenance. Utilities across Canada and around the world operate these power plants; we do not. We are committed to providing support in the case of an emergency and our employer requests our assistance. We believe that this is a remote situation but we want Canadians to know that we will be there should the need arise."
The Society of Professional Engineers and Associates (SPEA) represents engineers, scientist, technologist and trades people who collectively represent the majority of Canada's nuclear power design expertise employed by Candu Energy Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin. The Federal Government sold off the commercial business of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) to SNC-Lavalin, in a deal that closed October 2011.
To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20120710-SPEAnewsconferencefeaturingMichaelIvancolg.jpg.