Steelworkers Call for Ontario Government to Investigate 407 ETR Contract

TORONTO, June 14, 2013 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers (USW) is asking Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne for an investigation into the circumstances under which a $1-billion contract for the eastward extension of the 407 ETR (Express Toll Route) was granted in 2012 to a partnership of SNC-Lavalin and Cintra Infraestructuras.

The request is prompted by reports of bribery and fraud allegations against SNC-Lavalin officials on other projects, and a British union's charges of blacklisting by a consortium of companies that includes Ferrovial, Cintra's parent company.

"Given the growing scandals at SNC-Lavalin and the controversy with Ferrovial in the U.K., it is imperative for your government to examine how the contract was awarded for the ETR extension," USW National Director Ken Neumann states in a letter to Premier Wynne.

The World Bank has banned SNC-Lavalin from bidding on projects for 10 years, and the Quebec government is considering a similar ban. The RCMP is reportedly moving to freeze millions of dollars in bank accounts and real estate holdings of a former company executive as part of another probe.

Ferrovial is one of three corporations in the BFK consortium that has secured contracts for the Crossrail project, the largest construction project in Europe. Unite, the U.K.'s largest trade union, alleges BFK is blacklisting unionized construction workers. 

The USW and Unite joined forces in 2008 to create Workers Uniting, the first transatlantic union combining over 2.3 million members in Canada, the U.S., U.K. and Ireland.

SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information:

Ken Neumann, USW National Director for Canada, 416-544-5951;
Joe Drexler, USW Strategic Campaigns, 416-544-6009, 416-434-7907, jdrexler@usw.ca
Denis St. Pierre, USW Communications, 416-544-5990, 647-522-1630, dstpierre@usw.ca


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