SPEA to SNC-Lavalin Shareholders: Use Federal Programs to Avert Cuts

The union’s call comes as engineering giant announces board Chair who led turn-around to step down

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, May 05, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, the Society of Professional Engineers and Associates (SPEA) alerted major shareholders of cuts by SNC-Lavalin leadership to its Canadian nuclear subsidiary, Candu Energy.  “SNC-Lavalin needs to make use of available federal support programs, like workshare, to avert or mitigate layoffs,” said Denise Coombs, Staff Representative for SPEA.

SPEA’s outreach follows on the heels of news about the stepping down of Kevin Lynch as Chair of the Board after the company’s annual meeting on Thursday, May 7, 2020.

“We remind the shareholders, quoting a line from the company’s own releases, that ‘people drive results’,” says Coombs. “As such, we invited shareholders to engage on questions of human capital management at Candu Energy over the coming weeks and months. Our message is simple: don’t cut the people who drive your results.”

Candu Energy employees, represented by SPEA, support commercial nuclear reactors based on made-in-Canada CANDU technology.  Since the beginning of the year, Candu Energy has been awarded twelve new contracts in Ontario, Korea and Romania, the most recent announced only last week. 

The Ontario government has declared the work performed at Candu Energy as essential during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Coombs, “SNC-Lavalin’s nuclear business has been critical to the company’s survival and recovery in 2019, delivering double-digit earnings (EBIT) margins during the company’s time of crisis.  With long-term contracts in an essential area of infrastructure and a healthy book of orders, SNC-Lavalin’s nuclear businesses have the potential to be a springboard for recovery from the pandemic.”

Coombs went on to say, “We believe SNC-Lavalin’s nuclear businesses, like Candu Energy, must be proactive in protecting their already lean corps of highly skilled and specialized experts to ensure they can continue to honour existing commitments and remain competitive in a wave of upcoming bids for contracts to refurbish, decommission and safely dispose of waste from nuclear assets.  Layoffs are a short-term fix that will only serve to strengthen Candu Energy’s competitors.”

The Society of Professional Engineers and Associates (SPEA) is an independent union representing engineers, scientists, technicians, technologists, skilled tradespersons, designers, operations and administrative staff employed by SNC-Lavalin. Formed in 1974, SPEA is one of the oldest professional unions in Canada. Collectively we represent the majority of Canada's nuclear power reactor design expertise.

For more information contact:
Michelle Duncan,
SPEA External Relations                              
Telephone: (416) 427-3525 (cellular)
E-mail: michelle.duncan@spea.ca