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Pay reduction issue resolved – COVID-19 update, April 30 - BCGEU

Following communications in March from SNC-Lavalin asking you and our union to agree to a reduction in pay for Protrans workers, we would like to let you know the matter has been resolved.

On Thursday March 26, 2020, members of the Bargaining Unit received a communication from the CEO of SNC-Lavalin asking employees to take a voluntary reduction in pay of between 10 and 20%. This was an outrageous ask from a massive corporation at a time when you are all providing a vital service in a challenging environment. Our union pressed for an explanation from the employer – they clarified the communication was not intended for unionized employees and agreed to send out a retraction the following day.

The next day the employer asked the union for a reduction of your pay by between 10 and 20%. While other industries were giving their employees pay bumps for having to work in dangerous conditions, SNC-Lavalin was asking their employees to take significant pay cuts. Our union responded unequivocally "no". The following day a communication was sent to bargaining unit members by SNC-Lavalin, again asking employees to take a 10 to 20% pay cut. This communication stated that for unionized employees the employer was working with the union to achieve the employer's goals. We want to make clear that our union has never worked with the employer to achieve cuts in your pay.

Because of the communications by the employer the union filed an 'Unfair Labour Practice' complaint to the Labour Relations Board on March 31st, 2020 and as noted, the matter has now been resolved. With the Labour Board's assistance, the employer has agreed in writing that communications that relate to reductions in pay or benefits that are sent out to Canadian employees by SNC-Lavalin will not be sent to bargaining unit members.

In the event that SNC-Lavalin sends out communications to all employees internationally the communications will contain a clear provision that states that any references to reductions in pay or benefits are not intended for unionized employees. If any communications like that are sent out the employer must also send out a communication to bargaining unit members directing them to ignore any references to reductions in pay or benefits.