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“When you find such a differential in labour costs and environmental shortcuts (in foreign nations) that still gives them such an advantage to ship across an ocean and be cheaper, you can’t have a laissez-faire approach and leave things twisting in the wind.”
Atlas Tube’s top executive on assembling the Alberta bid expressed frustration at losing out after a year’s work.
“We did an in-depth analysis of our costs and couldn’t really figure out how to get it down,” said George Rabideau, the company’s Canadian sales manager. “We submitted the best bid we could on steel costs, freight and fabrication cost.
“To lose out on that work for our employees is really disheartening.”
The company has long faced international competition for tubing and pipe products, but it was the first time it has seen a domestic job of this type go to an overseas company, he said.
“Even if we didn’t get the work and it stayed in Canada, that’s a win for our economy,” Rabideau said. “It would be nice if more than price was a determining factor and people thought about keeping these jobs in Canada.”