http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1173255--snc-lavalin-s-latest-worry-nuclear-workers-give-strike-mandate

SNC-Lavalin’s latest worry: Nuclear workers give strike mandate

Employees at SNC-Lavalin’s nuclear reactor design firm Candu Energy have given their union a 94 per cent strike mandate.

Nearly 900 members of the Society of Professional Engineers and Associates are in a position to strike at 12:01 a.m. Monday. The company is also in a legal position to lock out workers at that time.

No new talks are scheduled.

They include scientists, engineers, technologists and tradespeople who design and maintain nuclear reactors in Canada including Darlington and Bruce Power as well as at locations overseas.

The federal government sold the commercial business of the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited to SNC-Lavalin International last October. Candu Energy Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary.

SNC is currently embroiled in controversy over $56 million made in improper payments by top executives who are no longer with the firm.

Main issues in the contract dispute include wages, benefits, pensions and travel compensation, said union spokeswoman Michelle Duncan.

The union warns that talented employees are already leaving the company with others poised to leave because of concessions demanded.

It added that both the Canadian Auto Workers Union and the Communications Energy and Paperworkers Union have each pledged $1 million to assist the union in financing a strike or lockout.