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October 19, 2018

Nalcor sends 500 workers home from main contractor at Muskrat Falls hydro project

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Newfoundland and Labrador’s Crown-owned utility says it has directed the main contractor at the Muskrat Falls hydro-electric megaproject site to stop work.

In an emailed statement Thursday, Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall says the move was made because of the inability of Italian contractor Astaldi Canada Inc. to continue to pay its workers.

Marshall says the action is to minimize the “financial harm placed upon the workers by Astaldi.”

He says the immediate priority is to make arrangements for the company’s 500 workers living at the Muskrat Falls site in Labrador to return home in a “safe and orderly fashion.”

Marshall said Nalcor’s action won’t have any impact on ongoing work by other contractors on the site.

He says Nalcor has recently notified Astaldi that all of the funds the contractor is currently eligible to earn under its contracts have been paid.

Marshall said Astaldi has been paid for all of the work they have completed to date on the powerhouse, intake and spillway for the Muskrat Falls project.

“Astaldi’s surety has directed payment of funds to the Resource Development Trades Council in relation to Astaldi’s obligations to the workers’ pensions and benefits plan.” he said.

The utility said it understands Astaldi’s workers are facing a “challenging situation” and it pledged to work to address their outstanding concerns.

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