Friday, March 07, 2008

Canada Line Tunnellers Axed

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Premier Gordon Campbell was on hand "to congratulate all of the workers for their hard work and dedication, and for completing this critical phase of the Canada Line without a single lost-time injury or accident."

But just after the ceremony, tunnelling subcontractor SLCP-SELI Joint Venture group told 12 workers they would receive lay off notices on Monday, and reportedly gave each a bonus payment of $20 and memorial medal. The laid off workers were all told, according to their union, that they would need to be on a plane back to Costa Rica by next week, even though more than a month of work remains disassembling the tunnel boring machine and preparing it for shipment to a new project in Russia.

"Of course we were punished for supporting the union," said Martin Serrano, a 28-year-old Costa Rican grout pump operator who was among the dozen handed pink slips.

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