The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Sandra Goodwin

Construction

Labour pains : Laying the foundation for P3 project success

By Sandra Goodwin October 18, 2018 18 October 2018

Labour pains : Laying the foundation for P3 project success

 

Since labour is a significant cost for public-private partnership projects, employers need to implement a strategy well before they break ground – and the time required can be lengthy. That was the message coming from a veteran panel of labour and employment lawyers at the Canadian Bar Association’s Construction and Infrastructure Law Conference in Halifax in October.

A proper strategy maps out everything from labour relations and human resource standards to worker acquisition and productivity – months and sometimes years in advance. “You can’t bring in temporary foreign workers overnight,” said moderator Greg Anthony, a lawyer at Cox & Palmer in St. John’s. “How will you ensure you have the workers you need?” He said a labour acquisition plan is one of the most important components of that strategy.

For Walter Thornton, of Matthews Dinsdale & Clark LLP in Toronto, the strategy becomes a risk management plan covering three areas: financing, maintenance, and operations. “Risks can be significant, and sometimes difficult to spot,” he said. “But if you’re talking about risk management, you don’t want to be employing any resources not covered by a collective agreement.”

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