A union head representing workers at the Evraz steel mill in Regina says up to 500 people could soon be laid off from the facility.
“(Evraz) is only predicting that we’re only going to have about 15 people working the plant come January,” said Mike Day, president of United Steelworkers Local 5890.
“We’re going through a hard time right now and the economy is struggling.”
The workforce at the mill has dropped significantly this year due to a lack of long-term projects and companies purchasing imported steel, says Day.
He said a recent decision made by a Saskatchewan-based company to buy offshore steel for an upcoming pipeline project resulted in the layoff notice from their employer.
“There’s not a lot Canadian infrastructure projects of that nature going into the ground, as they should be,” Day said. “And they should be built with Canadian workers and Canadian products, plain and simple.”
In January, the union had around 1,050 members which dropped down to 831 active members in May following a round of layoffs.
“We’re clearly expecting more to come in December,” Day said.
“Canadian steel has built this country. Between east and west, steel mills have been decimated. It’s got to stop somewhere. We’ve got to stop importing steel.”
A spokesperson for Evraz declined to comment on any potential layoffs or on specifics around potential future customer orders.
However, a spokesperson told Global News the company is “always pursuing new business for our workers and our business. We are proud that EVRAZ Regina steelworkers this year, and for decades, have been safely producing the highest-quality line pipe for Canadian energy projects, and our steelworkers will continue to do so.”