FNI locks gates at Lockerby mine site – by Mary Katherine Keown (Sudbury Star – August 20, 2015)

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

The lay-off notices have been issued and nearly three dozen miners are out of work.

Anne-Marie MacInnis, president of Mine Mill Local 598-Unifor, said Thursday she received an email at about 5 a.m. informing her that First Nickel Inc. (FNI) was shuttering operations at its Lockerby mine site, located off Highway 17 near Fairbank Lake.

Effective immediately, 35 of the union’s members have been laid off. “People are feeling surprised,” she told The Star on Thursday. “They showed up today and the gates were locked.”

MacInnis is currently liaising with the union’s legal department to settle severance for affected employees. “I will be talking to the legal department to see if we have any kind of legal action we can take on behalf of our members,” she said.

MacInnis said her members could be eligible for a federally-funded severance program, but only to a maximum of $3,800. It would also mean they would relinquish any recall rights.

“The one thing they’ll have to do is sever their ties, which means they won’t have any rights to recall,” she explained.

But recall seems unlikely.

“With everything that they’re saying, and there are $32 million owed to lenders — and that’s why they went into receivership — is it likely it’ll reopen? I don’t know … but it’s highly unlikely,” MacInnis added.

Nickel Belt MP Claude Gravelle expressed his concern over Thursday morning’s news.

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