There has been some payoff from the millions of dollars Vale Newfoundland and Labrador put into raising the pay for workers at the Long Harbour construction site.
The company brought in an incentive program on
July 15, amounting to a $2-$10 per hour pay raise for trades workers.
The top benefits are to be paid only if the project comes in as scheduled.
The pay raise was, in part, an effort to keep skilled workers from leaving for other construction work.
“The turnover has slowed down,” said Vale spokesman Bob Carter, who was asked about the results this week.
Carter said there continues to be some challenge with absences from site, but added several factors come into play there, including planned vacations.
For at least one specialty trade area, Vale has turned to temporary foreign workers from Ireland to make sure the job gets done.
“Some temporary foreign workers, if not in the province, are en route,” Carter said, adding the workers are welders.
The welders are journeypersons and have needed specialty certifications, allowing them to work with materials like stainless steel.
Looking ahead, Vale had already applied and was granted a temporary foreign worker permit from the federal government, allowing the company to bring in the specialty welders.
The push is now on to complete construction.
About 5,000 people are employed on the project.
The workforce at site is expected to drop to about a third of its current level by early 2014.