The Yukon Carpenters Union has reached a deal with a major builder to ensure more Yukoners are hired to work on the Whitehorse hospital expansion project.
The agreement covers carpenters, plumbers, labourers and safety hands on the $72 million construction project.
"We came to terms on a wage plus pensions and benefits, and the deal was done," said union representative Jeff Sloychuk. "There was some haggling over a couple bucks, but that's always going to happen.
"We split it down the middle and we are happy about the deal going forward," he said.
About 10 Yukoners are currently employed on site. That number is expected to double through the next two summers.
'It only makes sense'
Yukon's unionized trade workers are still stinging from being sidelined on construction of the new F.H. Collins high school.
Sloychuk says the hospital contractors, PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc. (PCL), have been much more amenable. He also credits the Yukon Hospital Corporation for pressuring the contractor to hire Yukoners.
"Right from the onset of this project we were very interested in making sure as much as possible that it would involve local business and Yukoners," said hospital CEO Jason Bilsky.
"This is a very large project in the grand scheme of things in the Yukon, and it only makes sense," he said.
The new agreement is good for the life of the construction project. The work is expected to be done by 2017.