Kitimat Alcan Modernization Project Proceeding on Track

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NorthReport
Kitimat Alcan Modernization Project Proceeding on Track

 

NorthReport

quote:


Mark Olsen, business manager for the Construction and Specialized Workers' Union 1611 and chair of the Coalition of B.C. Building Trade Unions, used an Olympic comparison.

"This is a gold medal project," Olsen said. "This is also a gold medal collective agreement -- the wages and benefits and working conditions . . . are gold medal.

"The unions are committed, the membership is pumped -- let's get to work," he added.


[b]Rio Tinto signing 'fantastic' for all[/b]

[url=http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/money/story.html?id=9a1f2623-8e0f...

NorthReport

Finally the North Western sector of BC is hopefully going to get some economic relief. As well, this is going to be a wonderful opportunity for some First Nations people to participate in earning decent wages and benefits.

quote:

[b] Landmark Labour Agreement Advances Rio Tinto Alcan Kitimat Modernization Project[/b]
Rio Tinto Alcan marked the signing of a one-of-a-kind labour agreement with sixteen labour unions for the construction of the Kitimat Modernization Project at a ceremony in Vancouver. This agreement between the Kitimat Modernization Employer Association and the unions facilitates access to the qualified British Columbia building trades workforce, with joint commitments to local and First Nations hiring.

"As these unions work together to provide the necessary skilled labour, with an absolute commitment to safety, quality and environmental excellence, our confidence in successful project execution is stronger than ever," said Jean Simon, President, Primary Metal North America. "The tight construction market has been a concern for the Kitimat Modernization Project, and this agreement directly addresses that key issue as we go forward for final board approval." The Kitimat Modernization Project is expected to go before the RioВ Tinto Board of Directors later this year.

Brent Hegger, the project’s Managing Director, added, "This agreement contains all the fundamentals for sound site operations and excellent relations with our all-important construction labour force. I couldn’t be more thrilled about this achievement that brings us one step closer to project realization."

Rio Tinto Alcan recently awarded Bechtel a contract to complete engineering, procurement and construction management of the Kitimat Modernization Project. The Kitimat Modernization Employer Association was formed by Bechtel, contractors participating in the agreement, and a coalition of Building Trades Unions including:

- Construction and Specialized Workers’ Union Local 1611 (Labourers)

- International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and

Reinforcing Ironworkers Union Local 97

- International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied

Workers Union Local 118

- International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders,

Blacksmiths, Forgers & Helpers Local Lodge 359

- International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union Local 993

- International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union Local 213

- International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craft Workers Union Local 2

- International Union of Operating Engineers Union Local 115

- International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, District Council 38

- Millwrights, Machine Erectors and Maintenance Union Local 2736

- Operative Plasters’ Cement Masons Union Local 919

- Pile Drivers, Divers, Bridge, Dock and Wharf Builders Union Local 2404

- Sheet Metal Workers International Association Union Local 280

- Unite Here! British Columbia, Canada Union Local 40

- United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and

Pipefitting Industry of United States and Canada Union Local 170

- United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America- British

Columbia Regional Council of Carpenters

The Kitimat Modernisation Project will upgrade the facility using state-of-the-art AP technology and increase its aluminium production capacity while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. First metal from the modernized smelter is expected in 2011.

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Rio Tinto’s business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa.


[url=http://thecabledirectory.com/newsdetails.asp?id=6978]http://thecabledire...

jester

quote:


Key provisions of the labour agreement include no strikes or lockouts, a commitment to hire local and native workers and flexibility in contracting and sub-contracting.

Hmmm...flexibility in contracting and sub-contracting huh?

It appears that the unions are hungry for this deal and it does represent a maturing in the attitude toward the complicated agreements required in a global environment [b]but[/b] in all the grip-n-greet enthusiasm of this agreement, I find no mention of any committment to training from the provincial government.

quote:

This agreement between the Kitimat Modernization Employer Association and the unions facilitates access to the qualified British Columbia building trades workforce, with joint commitments to local and First Nations hiring.

Facilitates access to the [b]qualified[/b] BC building trades workforce does it?

How exactly? Considering that 5 years is usually required to achieve journeyman status and that Labour Minister Ian Black did [b]not[/b] include his own ministry in the effusive self-congratulations for a job well done, who is going to provide the apprenticeships required?

munroe

I understand scepticism, but on the construction side there is history and this deal is good and makes sense. On the other hand, there is no metion of the longer term and the fact the project has a two and a half year life span at best.

Afterwords, there will be a smelter with the same capacity and half the workforce. Alcan will be set to be the major hydro exporter it always wanted to be. The "good news" is not to northwest BC, only to Alcan.

Campbell's Liberals effectively released Alcan from its 1950 commitments and the courts paved the way. "Good News" is not a two year construction project and the loss of half of the jobs - "good news" is that a multinational actually was made to live to its promises. That is not happening.

[ 29 August 2008: Message edited by: munroe ]

NorthReport

[ 30 August 2008: Message edited by: NorthReport ]

NorthReport

A very significant aspect of this Rio Tinto Alcan Modernization Project from the Labour Movement point of view is that it is going to be a camp.

When was the last time there was a camp in BC - 15 years ago?

Do people realize what this means?

jester

quote:


Originally posted by NorthReport:
[b]A very significant aspect of this Rio Tinto Alcan Modernization Project from the Labour Movement point of view is that it is going to be a camp.

When was the last time there was a camp in BC - 15 years ago?

Do people realize what this means?[/b]


BC has camps everywhere in the resource industry.

Obviously,you have not been to Kitimat. One reason for the camp option is provide living accomodations for workers when the local market cannot support such an influx of workers. Another is to avoid competing with locals for accomodation and pricing the locals out of the market.A third is to avoid disrupting the community with a large number of transient workers by controlling workers' movements to avoid friction.

Where adequate services exist, the industry usually pays a 'living out allowance' to cover accomodation and food costs. Camps are expensive although they make sense for large, long term projects.

Kitimat's accomodation capacity will be stressed enough with increased business activity due to the smelter project without adding transient workers to the mix.

Fidel

[url=http://www.worldpress.org/2342.cfm]Some background on Rio Tinto's former founder Tiny Rowland[/url]

Through Lonrho, Rowland became the richest Western businessman in Africa. Rowland set up Rio Tinto Mines for it's sizable uranium holdings, worth over $6 billion, of the Queen of England in former British colonies. Not too shabby for a former Nazi youth corps member and convicted criminal in Germany before changing his name, running off to England and becoming a pirate for the British Royals. Blood money operating in Canada now.