Evraz hit by cyberattack, temporarily lays off workers

Workers are being temporarily laid off from the Evraz steel mill in Regina following a cyberattack on the company, says the local union. EVRAZ / Supplied

Evraz North America has fallen victim to a ransomware attack that impacted operations across the United States and Canada, including in Regina. Employees of its Queen City steel mill have been temporarily laid off.

The cyberattack happened late Wednesday, company spokesperson Patrick Waldron said on Friday. Information technology teams have been working to restore the systems.

“There is no indication of any breach of confidential or personal customer or employee information,” Waldron said,

In addition to Regina, Evraz has a presence in Edmonton, Camrose, Red Deer and Calgary. It also has plants in Portland, Ore. and Pueblo, Col. as well as headquarters in Chicago.

Waldron noted some of the Alberta operations have been interrupted as well.

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Evraz North America has a presence in five Canadian cities and three U.S. cities.

The Regina union, United Steelworkers 5890 (USW), met with company representatives Thursday.

“It’s worrisome, but they’re on top of it. So we’re hopeful,” said Mike Day, USW 5890 president.

About 900 workers from the Regina plant are subject to a three-day layoff clause and have been issued seven-day layoff notices as a precaution, Day said.

“We’ve got the work right now. Nobody wants to be off when they’re supposed to be working,” Day said Friday. “Most people aren’t happy but there’s not a lot we can do about this.”

About 200 maintenance staff are continuing with their jobs although production is hold, he said.

Mike Day is the president of United Steelworkers 5890 in Regina. Justin Bukoski / Global News

Day added access to the computer system is necessary to ensure standards and traceability.

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“Everything, just to be on the safe side, safety-wise, they’re making sure that everything’s idled down until they can get everything up and running to what it needs to be,” he said.

Waldron said the company is in touch with its customers and others in the supply chain regarding potential shipping impacts.

“Production-wise, whatever they’re shipping targets were, are going to be held back,” Day said. “Hopefully, at some point they can make that up.”

While Waldron wouldn’t comment on when operations may resume in full, Day said the company has optimistically expressed to the union that it could happen by Monday.
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