There’s good news and bad news for Government of Alberta employees working in Melcor Centre. According to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE), the province finally has plans to move its workers out of Lethbridge’s largest office building after at least six years of repeated flooding and mould issues.
The bad news is there’s still three years left on the lease between Melcor Developments and the GOA.
AUPE’s vice president, Darren Graham says the union has about 250 members working in the building.
“We have got a commitment from the government saying they will not be renewing their lease in that building. Unfortunately, that lease isn’t up until May 2025.” says Graham. “We do see a light at the end of the tunnel, the bad news is that tunnel is very long. It’s still very unacceptable for the government to take years to come up with a solution and it’s pretty clear the landlord, who is Melcor, is either unwilling or unable to fix the building.”
Graham went on to say, “we’re telling our employers that it’s their responsibly to provide a safe workplace for our members. And more importantly it’s their responsibly to provide a safe place for members of the public who have to engage with those services.”
According to Graham, during last week’s heavy rainfall, Melcor Centre leaked again leaving many offices with wet floors and collapsed tiles.
In an email to Bridge City News, Melcor Developments Ltd. said, “Due to heavy rainfall and high winds, there were a couple of minor leaks at Melcor Centre, but no flooding. Our property manager (Braemore Management) had roof and glass contractors onsite to monitor and assess the situation. We are in the process of booking corrective measures.”
Graham says although they’ve made headway with the GOA, many of their members also include Alberta Health Services employees, but AHS has yet to meet with the union to determine what can be done about moving those workers out of the building.
“The two organizations hold leases separately with Melcor,” says Graham. “We’re hoping that they also are of the same position as the Government of Alberta so that they also won’t be renewing their leases and getting those services out of there for the clients that they serve and finding a healthy workplace for our members to work in.”
In a statement provided by AHS they said, “Alberta Health Services takes the safety of our patients and our staff very seriously…AHS and Melcor work collaboratively to address the concerns brought forward to provide a safe and healthy environment.”
AUPE’s Darren Graham explains the long road ahead:
Occupational Health and Safety investigation underway:
Melcor Centre a growing health, safety concern for hundreds:
Mouldy Melcor puts workers at risk: