Monolith
13Sep/21Off

Burntwood Nelson Agreement 2020

Since the late 1960s, the NSO has been the relevant collective agreement of the CHA and hydro`s Project Management Association, and the longest uninterrupted contract of its kind in Canada. In October 2005, Manitoba Hydro and the Allied Hydro Council, a joint council of unions representing project construction workers, agreed to renew the Burntwood Nelson Agreement (BNA) – a no-strike/no lockout agreement for all major northern hydro projects that will begin within the next 10 years. The BNA, which is an extension of a collective agreement that was first negotiated in the late 1960s, sets recruitment preferences – including priority for northern natives – as well as procedures for adjusting wages and certain benefits over the life of the agreement. The agreement also contains provisions for the recruitment, transfer, mediation, training and attachment of northern Indigenous peoples and facilitates the hiring of northern Indigenous peoples by northern Indigenous businesses. One of the main successes of this project has been Tri-Core`s ability to effectively implement a number of projects managed through a series of syndicated agreements. The work in Keeyask was carried out as part of the Burntwood Nelson agreement, which included a job referral service that required Tri-Core to choose local candidates to support a significant portion of the work. Regardless of recruitment preferences, any job depends on each candidate having the qualifications required for the position. The recent OUTBREAKS of COVID-19 in northern Alberta and Saskatchewan, originating from the Kearl Lake Work camp, have further underscored the need for a uniform level of protection for northern communities, particularly with respect to workers travelling from other provinces for the construction site. For more information on the ongoing keeyask and Keewatinohk projects, please contact the AHC at info@mbtrades.ca or call 204.956.7425. The CHA states that protecting the psychological and physiological well-being of Manitoba communities is ultimately the responsibility of Manitoba`s public health.

Every community in Manitoba is entitled to a level of protection. The CHA hopes Manitoba Public Health will act urgently to address regulations at the Keeyask shipyard to protect workers and communities in the north. AHC and its member unions are proud of their track record. Working year-round on remote northern sites is never easy, but it`s rewarding – the legacy of these projects will benefit Manitoba for future generations. The shutdown of the project is based on the terms of the Burntwood Nelson Agreement (BNA), which regulates employment in hydroelectric projects in the North. Workers are returned to the project employers in the following order: the project was built in harsh winter conditions in an isolated northern location. .

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