Nova Scotia

Carpenters protest outsourced work at hotel

Members of a local carpenters union staged a protest at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Tuesday, upset with the outsourcing of work for a hotel under construction on the property.
About a dozen protesters waved to travellers and slowed several vehicles arriving to work at the construction site of the 14-storey ALT Hotel. (CBC)

Members of a local carpenters union staged a protest at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Tuesday, upset with the outsourcing of work for a hotel under construction on the property.

About a dozen protesters waved to travellers and slowed several vehicles arriving to work at the construction site of the 14-storey ALT Hotel.

Le Groupe Germain, a hotel chain based in Quebec City, and the Marco Group have partnered to build the 169-room hotel — a $27-million construction project.

Cathy Pike, a union representative for the Regional Council of Carpenters, Millwrights and Allied Workers, said the companies have hired Ontario-based Long Valley Forming to do the work and workers have been brought in from that province.

"We've actually went out and asked them why and they said that they had had the job done in Toronto with this particular formwork contractor, Long Valley Forming, and it worked out well so they brought their crew down," she told CBC News on Tuesday.

"We told them we have lots of skilled qualified carpenters, local carpenters to do the work and they don't want to hear anything from us on that."

Members of the union and the Halifax-Dartmouth & District Labour Council were at the information picket on Tuesday.

A spokesman from Long Valley Forming told CBC News his company won their bid and will build the hotel as it chooses.

He would not comment on the choice of out-of-province workers.

Peter Greer, a carpenter at the protest, said the dispute has been left in the hands of people who need the work.

"We hope to put some pressure on our union brothers in Ontario to encourage them to go home and allow our men to do the work," he said.

"We continue to have some discussion with them. It's an unfortunate thing when you have to pit worker against worker."

A spokesperson for the Halifax International Airport Authority said the airport hopes the two sides can resolve the dispute quickly.

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