Vale Ltd. employees in Sudbury are bracing for possible layoffs after viewing a company video in recent days they say warned that the Brazil-based mining giant could soon be making cuts. “It seemed like a threat,” said one source, who requested anonymity. “It’s coming right from Brazil.”
Another source, also a Vale employee, told The Star he had also seen a company video in recent days that warned of possible reductions. He said he came away with the impression there would be “significant” job losses.
The sources say they have been given no details of how many jobs will be cut or when, or if layoffs would be permanent or temporary, but that they could affect members of both Local 6500 and Local 2020 of the Steelworkers. Local 6500 represents production workers, while Local 2020 represents office, clerical and technical staff in Sudbury.
The Star has been told Local 6500 held a membership meeting two weeks ago to talk about possible layoffs. Efforts to reach union executives for comment have so far been unsuccessful. When contacted by The Star, Vale officials said at that time no decisions had been made.
“We have been very open with our employees about the challenges our business is facing,” Danica Pagnutti, a corporate affairs specialist for Vale Canada Ltd., said in an emailed statement on Friday. “However, no final decisions have been made and we have not made any announcements regarding reductions to our workforce.”
Vale operates five mines in Sudbury, as well as a mill, a smelter, a refinery and employs nearly 4,000 workers. It mines nickel, copper, cobalt, platinum group metals, gold and silver.
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