Terra Nova Oil Workers Unionize

"It is a landmark day for fairness, worker rights and safety in the offshore oil industry," said Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada National President Brian Payne in response to the overwhelming majority vote to unionize by employees of PetroCanada's Terra Nova offshore oil platform.

In a Newfoundland Labor Relations Board supervised vote counted today, 83.7% of the about 90 oil platform workers at Terra Nova voted to unionize.

"We have a clear trend now that as this industry expands, the workforce will have a union to represent their interests," said Payne, "We look forward to early meetings with PetroCanada to get started on a collective agreement."

"The workers at Terra Nova have said today through this vote that they want a strong union to represent them, and we won't let them down," said CEP Atlantic Vice President Max Michaud.

CEP's organizing drive at Terra Nova commenced last March, led by special organizer Ray Cluney. The union applied for certification in August and votes were held in late August and September.

Terra Nova is located about 300 kilometers southeast of Newfoundland. It produced about $1.1 billion of oil in its first year of operation.

Terra Nova is the second Atlantic offshore oil platform to be unionized. Workers at the Hibernia platform voted to join CEP two years ago, but the consortium of oil companies that own Hibernia challenged the vote in Newfoundland courts. A Newfoundland Superior Court decision is pending.