The head of the New Brunswick Building Trades Unions says the Energy East pipeline project is about the future for New Brunswick construction workers.
“The economy has been slow over the last few years in New Brunswick. This has caused many of our workers to travel out of province for work and many of our apprentices to struggle to achieve their journey person status.” says New Brunswick Building Trades Unions President Gary Ritchie, “Energy East will enable many New Brunswick workers to work at home in high salary jobs and foster the development the next generation of New Brunswick Skilled Trades workers.”
Ritchie added, that at present, New Brunswick is experiencing a significant shift in its construction workforce due to retirements and ongoing outmigration due to lack of major industrial construction investment. The Energy East pipeline is an opportunity to support the existing New Brunswick workforce but also train young apprentices who are future construction workers.
“Aside from the pipeline construction, many people probably do not realize that once these large scale infrastructure projects are built they need annual maintenance,” says Ritchie, “Maintenance projects, keep many of our members employed. Last year, over 3000 of our Building Trades members worked at the Fall turnaround at the Irving Oil Refinery. In additional to annual maintenance work; large scale infrastructure investment can attract other construction investment.”