Shareholders question job losses at company’s highly profitable businesses segments during SNC-Lavalin’s 2020 Annual Shareholder Meeting
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, May 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, SNC-Lavalin’s First Quarter 2020 results confirmed that its nuclear segment had a strong performance across its core markets, while management continues to threaten the more than 1000 Canadian nuclear employees at its Candu Energy subsidiary with layoffs.
“SNC-Lavalin’s motto is ‘People. Drive. Results,’ said Denise Coombs, Staff Representative for the Society of Energy Professionals and Associates (SPEA), the union representing employees at Candu Energy. “Yet management is seeking to cut staff that have once again this quarter driven results.”
In today’s earnings call, management singled out the Nuclear and Infrastructure Services segments for strong performance that “more than offset” a decrease in revenue and earnings (EBIT) in the Engineering Design and Project Management segment. SNC-Lavalin management described the Nuclear and Infrastructure Service segments as “proving to be resilient in the current COVID-19 environment, due to a combination of their services to industry being considered essential services, and the nature of their long-term contracts.” Since the beginning of the year, SNC-Lavalin’s Candu Energy has won at least twelve new contracts.
Many publicly traded companies have suspended dividends to preserve cash and avert cuts to frontline workers – but today, SNC-Lavalin confirmed it has left shareholder dividends untouched.
When shareholders asked about cuts to staff at the company’s high growth, profitable business segments at today’s Annual Meeting, CEO Ian Edwards referred to a drive to preserve liquidity and safeguard jobs across the entire company. Elsewhere, the company noted that its “liquidity and cash flow remain strong,” with cash and cash equivalents nearly doubling since last quarter.
“SPEA is simply asking SNC-Lavalin to align its human capital management practices with its new business strategy, and protect the people who drive its results,” said Coombs. “Layoffs are a short-term fix that will only serve to strengthen Candu Energy’s competitors.”
The Society of Professional Engineers and Associates (SPEA) is an independent union representing engineers, scientists, technicians, technologists, skilled tradespersons, designers, operations and administrative staff employed by SNC-Lavalin. Formed in 1974, SPEA is one of the oldest professional unions in Canada. Collectively we represent the majority of Canada's nuclear power reactor design expertise.