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Layoffs for nearly 500 workers come early at Evraz steel mill in Regina

Click to play video: 'Layoffs for nearly 500 workers come early at Evraz steel mill in Regina' Layoffs for nearly 500 workers come early at Evraz steel mill in Regina
WATCH: Come Christmas, hundreds of workers at Evraz steel mill in Regina will be out of a job – Dec 4, 2020

Layoffs in the tubular division at the Evraz steel mill in Regina are coming sooner than expected as nearly 500 workers were notified they will be out of work by Dec. 17.

This comes shortly after its union was told about 80 per cent of workers would be laid off by mid-January, 2021.

“We expected [400] employees to be gone by January with about 100 more sticking around. This a blanket layoff that encompasses absolutely everybody, maintenance included,” said Mike Day, United Steelworkers Local 5890 president.

Read more: About 400 Evraz steel mill employees in Regina brace for layoffs over holidays

The layoffs include workers who were expected to be transferred to another part of the plant or those who may have been called back when there was more work.

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“It was definitely a surprise to see it at this magnitude,” Day said.

“We have a lot of suspicions as to why the company is doing it his way, but we won’t know until around Christmas, or in two weeks, of how they’re playing it.”

With the holidays around the corner, Day says the layoffs couldn’t have come at a worse time.

“A lot of people were under the impression they’d still be working come the middle of January,” Day said.

Read more: Up to 500 jobs could be lost at Regina’s Evraz steel mill, union says

“Now, they’ll be completely out of work by the Christmas break. That was money people were banking on for them and their families.”

At about the same time last year, Day said the tubular division had about 700 workers.

“These staffing adjustments that began in November and are continuing in December are matching the size of our workforce with the demand for production of certain tubular products,” said Patrick Waldron, Evraz North America’s director, communications and industry affairs.

“As large pipe projects are completed and work runs out, the layoff take place. This outlook and the difficult decisions it has forced have been shared with union leadership and team members. ”

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He said the layoffs are partly due to the impact of COVID-19 and a decline in the energy sector.

The steel division at Evraz is still operating at full capacity.

Click to play video: 'About 400 Evraz steel mill employees in Regina brace for layoffs over holidays' About 400 Evraz steel mill employees in Regina brace for layoffs over holidays
About 400 Evraz steel mill employees in Regina brace for layoffs over holidays – Nov 26, 2020

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