Sudbury mine layoffs reduced – by Carol Mulligan
(Sudbury Star – February 26, 2014)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Even one job layoff is one too many, says the area co-ordinator for United Steelworkers. But representatives with KGHM International and USW Local 2020 have worked together to pare down what could have been the loss of 70 unionized jobs at KGHM’s McCreedy West Mine to 25 layoffs.

The company gave employees notice in January as many as 70 production and maintenance workers could lose their jobs at Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations (Glencore Xstrata) exercised a 30-day cancellation clause in its commercial contract with KGHM to process McCreedy West nickel ore.

KGHM spokeswoman Kristina Howe said Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations indicated its processing facilities were at capacity and that it had a surface capacity, so it didn’t require additional custom feed ore. 
Myles Sullivan, USW area co-ordinator, said the company and the union had until Feb. 16 to figure out how to minimize job losses caused by that contract cancellation.

Some employees were given buyouts, “contractors are gone” and “a few hiccups” are still being worked out, said Sullivan, but no more job losses are expected at this time.

About 70 Local 2020 members remain at McCreedy West mining a small copper zone.

“It’s never good to have even one (layoff),” said Sullivan, “but with two mines basically closing back to back,” cutting job losses to 25 was “pretty good.”

In January 2013, USW learned that Podolsky Mine, near Capreol, was to essentially cease operating at the end of March, and go on care and maintenance.

A handful of employees remain there keeping an eye on that property, said Sullivan.

Meanwhile, KGHM continues to develop its Victoria Mine property in Worthington.

Podolsky, McCreedy West and Victoria were purchased by Polish-based KGHM from Quadra FNX Mining in 2012.

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