Canadian Manufacturing

Northern Gateway: Enbridge looks to build union support

Signed deal with four unions promising minimum of 2,100 person years of employment

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C.—Enbridge Inc. is aiming to build support for its proposed Alberta-to-British Columbia oil pipeline by pledging to bring good jobs, meaty paycheques and ample training opportunities to Canadian workers.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed between Northern Gateway Pipelines and trade unions representing pipeline construction employees.

Northern Gateway says the MOU promises a minimum of about 2,100 person years of union employment to the Pipe Line Contractors Association of Canada and four unions, including the Teamsters and the International Union of Operating Engineers.

A news release says the plan is in addition to Northern Gateway’s existing purchase, job and training guarantees for local businesses and First Nations.

Signing of the memorandum comes amid growing concern about other businesses abusing Canada’s temporary foreign workers program by displacing eligible Canadian staff.

It could also be a slap at Unifor, the largest private-sector union in the country, which signed a deal last December supporting 130 First Nations working to ban pipelines and oil tankers from B.C. and the West Coast.

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