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Recent comments

  • COx
    July 18, 2012 - 01:43

    Route cause is not enough local skilled labour for all the economic activity planned by a government who has no long term plan other than to get themselves re-elected on delusional visions. And, pray tell, what is the labour peace plan to work in the wilds of Labrador for its mining and hydro developments in the near future? A work force from what corners of the globe?

    July 17, 2012 - 23:24

    A number of the local media, including the Telegram and CBC, have mistakenly linked the walkout at Long Harbour with the issue of the third Hebron module.The suggestion is that the Vale strike could, and perhaps should, weigh into Exxon's final decision on whether the DES module will be built in the province. This reasoning is shallow, faulty and damaging to the province's interests. The agreement between the province and Exxon stipulates that the DES is among those project components that must be executed locally unless the operator can provide convincing evidence that the province lacks the necessary capacity to do so. Labor relations are not among the criteria which can be cited as a reason for reneging on that commitment. The province assures labour stability through its special projects designation and, the Vale situation notwithstanding, this has worked very well in the past. There are circumstances at play in the Vale work stoppage that are unlikely to be replicated during the Hebron project. For example, the RDC Hebron agreement for Bull Arm provides a significant wage premium over Long Harbour and, unlike Vale (deserved or otherwise), operators in the offshore oil sector do not have a reputation for interpreting contracts in a way that alienates their workers. Exxon, for example, is known to be a hard bargainer (through its intermediaries) but once the deal is struck they are more concerned with getting the job done than nickelling and dimeing the union membership. The Newfoundland government and Exxon have a different opinion on whether there is adequate local capacity for the third module. The province's assessment is probably the correct one, given particularly that Exxon had more than enough time since the negotiation of that agreement to address any specific constraint on its ability to deliver on its commitments. In that context, the Telegram, CBC and others do a great disservice to the province by implying that the Vale work stoppage provides any defence whatsoever to Exxon for failing to do so. The decision by Exxon to source the third module outside the province was made long before the Vale incident and, in all probability, Exxon has never veered from that decision despite the government's protestations. There is a small chance it will find some other piece of work to re-assign to local industry by way of a compromise (as it did with the barge contracts for Marystown). More likely however is that this dispute will be dealt with by the mechanism prescribed in the agreement. If so, the province is likely to win a settlement in the 'tens of millions' range it has publicly cited. Exxon will be more than happy to pay such a small fee for what it expects will be a lower cost of fabrication elsewhere and a greater assurance that its timelines will not be adversely impacted (even though Hebron already faces a minimum one year delay). Indeed, a cash award of that magnitude could never compensate the province to the full value of the lost module. Beyond the immediate, direct economic benefits, there is a far more enduring value associated with the knowledge and experience gained locally from undertaking such complex industrial projects.

  • Dale Rodway
    July 17, 2012 - 15:32

    poor old Gary Hicky must be rolloing over in is grave, we went throught the same thing when we were building come bye chance refinery in the seventy,s Unversial Pipe brought in workers from Quebec and payed them more then the local person and we when on strike at that time to get it sorted out. Same thing again it happens everytime a outside contractor comes to town. if my memory severs me right i think not that long ago in st. john,s you had that problem building a water facilty with a quebec company. good old government does nothing, but stand around and watch. GO UNIONS GO , we fought years ago and won now its your turn.

  • Whining, entitled, work-ethically bankrupt worker
    July 17, 2012 - 14:19

    Please tell us, David, how we can be more like you. Can I take night classes at CONA on how to be a pompous, self-important blow-hard, or is that the sort of thing you're just born with? One other question, Your Wonderfulness, shouldn’t you be working right now rather than spending your time casting judgement on us lowly plebes? Not that I’m questioning your work ethic...

    • David
      July 17, 2012 - 14:59

      Don't like the comment? Go wildcat --- walk out on your computer. Solves everything, no?

  • Derrick
    July 17, 2012 - 11:56

    Vale does not care about the labour costs just lower Mgr, the real deal will be the hydro price charged compared to regular customers. The people will carry the loan interest for hydro, Vale will carry the margin back to Brazil.

  • Skeptical Cynic
    July 17, 2012 - 11:08

    If these unionized rabble-rousers are willfully breaching their contract they should be fired immediately. If they're breaking the law they should be arrested and thrown in jail.

  • David
    July 17, 2012 - 08:53

    LOng Harbour is precisely why there has never been, nor will lthere ever be, any economic activity in Newfoundland except resource extraction. Who else in their right mind would ever even consider coming to this place, with it's whining, entitled, work-ethically bankrupt workforce, if they could possibly do business somewhere....anywhere....else?

    • Igmond
      July 17, 2012 - 12:49

      "... since Cher's daughter [...] I understand and care." I don't even know where I was going with this.... @ANNA, so your advice is to shut up, and hide to appease the bigots. I think right there, you demonstrated percisely why we need events such as these, even if it means frightening those like The Whole Truth with chicken costumes. By the way, we don't need your acceptance; it's worthless.

    • Chantal
      July 17, 2012 - 14:19

      But... but Joe, they have chicken costumes! THEY'RE CHICKENS MAN! But seriously, you're right on.