SPEA: “SNC-Lavalin Rebrand Means Nothing Unless Backed Up By Meaningful Culture Change”

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Papering over shameful history will not work until company puts its people first

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, Sept. 13, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — “It’s going to take more than a name change to rehabilitate the culture of fear and intimidation SNC-Lavalin has fostered at its Candu Energy Inc. subsidiary,” says Society of Professional Engineers and Associates (SPEA) Representative Michelle Duncan. “Despite President and CEO Ian L. Edwards claim that “everything starts with our people,” the reality is much different.

Following years of secretly surveilling emails between SPEA members and SPEA staff, and despite written assurances that such surveillance would not occur, SNC-Lavalin terminated the SPEA President and another employee on July 5, 2023, on unfounded allegations that they had violated policies around information security based on emails sent to their union staff.

“SNC Lavalin has been spying on employee emails to SPEA staff since 2019. They knew employees shared information with SPEA staff, related to labour relations. They never approached SPEA to complain. The recent termination of the President over emails sent years ago was a blatant act of retaliation and an attempt to further chill and intimidate SNC-Lavalin employees” adds Duncan.

SNC-Lavalin is poised to reap the rewards of the current nuclear renaissance, having acquired CANDU technology with its acquisition of the commercial division of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd from the Harper Conservative government in 2011.

“Nuclear technology is key to addressing the climate crisis; and Canada and SNC-Lavalin are in a position to benefit because of our proven CANDU technology and nuclear expertise. But employee morale at Candu Energy has never been worse”, says Duncan.

“This is more than just about employee morale,” adds Duncan. “Nobody wants nuclear scientists and engineers to be fearful of speaking out. That’s the culture of fear SNC Lavalin has created at Candu. SNC-Lavalin must go beyond a name change in order to reap the benefits of this nuclear renaissance.”

About SPEA

The Society of Professional Engineers and Associates is an independent union representing engineers, scientists, technical and administrative staff, who work for Candu Energy Inc- Nuclear division of SNC-Lavalin (formerly Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) Candu division) in Mississauga, Ontario and abroad (excluding AECL Chalk River Laboratories). Formed in 1974, SPEA is one of the oldest professional unions in Canada.

For further information contact:

Michelle Duncan, Staff Representative
Phone: 416-427-3525
Email: [email protected]

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