Local Workers Idle as Foreign Workers Imported to Build Winnipeg Hospital

March 5, 2013

The Winnipeg Free Press reports:

A local union says an Edmonton-based contractor is importing foreign labour to do concrete work on the new $239-million Women’s Hospital while giving local trades the cold shoulder.

The Construction & Specialized Workers’ Union Local 1258 charges that Pagnotta Industries Inc., a subcontractor on the government-funded project, has so far hired mainly people from outside the province. The union says that of the 22 workers now on-site, only six are local and an estimated 10 to 12 are from Ireland.
Victor DaSilva, the union’s business manager, has written to Premier Greg Selinger and Family Services and Labour Minister Jennifer Howard to complain that public money is flowing to offshore labour when 120 of his members are out of work.

“This is a very time-sensitive situation due to the fact that Manitobans continue to be on the unemployment line and taxpayers’ money is flowing overseas,” he wrote.

DaSilva also wonders how Alex Pagnotta, the company’s owner and general manager, could have obtained a labour market opinion (LMO), required to import temporary workers, that there were insufficient qualified workers here when so many of his members are out of a job.

Read the whole article in the Winnipeg Free Press.