Photo: Jacques Boissinot The canadian Press
Davie will still have to lay off 200 of the 400 current employees remaining, since this contract does not even guarantee any jobs.
Lifeline for the Chantier Davie, Lévis, Ottawa announced on Friday a contract of $ 610 million for the acquisition of three icebreakers for the coast Guard and the rehabilitation of one of them by Davie, who will receive approximately $ 250 million of this amount.
This is less than what the company was hoping to save jobs. Davie will still have to lay off 200 of the 400 current employees remaining, since this contract does not even guarantee any jobs. No fewer than 800 workers have already been laid off since the delivery of the tanker Asterix to the canadian navy in December, in a project that has already employed at its peak 1500 people.
The direction called for four ships, and has thus obtained a less, but Davie founded the hope on the redesign this fall of the national shipbuilding procurement Strategy, which it had been excluded in 2011 for the benefit of its rivals in British Columbia and Nova Scotia, which have received billions of dollars in contracts.
At a press conference Friday afternoon, the boss of Davie, Spencer Fraser, remained vague on the portion of the contract to $ 610 million that will go to his company. However, in a statement released Friday, the company Viking Supply Ships (VSS), which sold the buildings, indicated that the price was 278 million US$, or approximately $360 million CDN, which leaves 250 million to the work of Davie.
The federal minister responsible for the region, Jean-Yves Duclos, did not want to clearly indicate whether he supported the eligibility of Davie to the national Strategy, which would therefore allow Davie to get his part of the contracts of this strategy — but he hinted that there will be other opportunities for the company in the coming months.
Among others, there will be the rehabilitation of two other buildings acquired to VSS. The coast Guard will need to replace a dozen of its vessels in the next 12 years, spoke of Mr. Fraser.
“Despite the lower number of jobs related to this contract, it is reassuring to know that the skilled workers, with their special expertise and, for many, their many years of experience on maritime projects, will be able to pursue their career here “, said Stéphane Forget, p.-d. g. of the Federation des chambres de commerce du Québec. “That being said, Quebec should get its fair share of maritime contracts of the national shipbuilding procurement Strategy to end the uncertainty that hangs regularly on this industry. “
For its part, the Conseil du patronat du Québec, said relieved to see that the discussions between the Shipyard Davie and the federal government move forward in a good direction, but he regrets that the backlog on the table was not the initial goal. “Although quebec companies composing the supply chain, which revolves around the shipyard as well as some of the workers recently laid off will be able to take advantage of the benefits of this agreement, there is still much to be done in order to give Davie his stature,” said Yves-Thomas Dorval, p.-d. g. of the CPQ.
With The Duty