Spring may still seem postponed, but work has finally resumed at Coleman Mine in Levack. Operations were suspended before Christmas for repairs to an underground ventilation compartment, idling many workers on temporary layoff.
That was initially supposed to last just a month or two; instead, the shutdown dragged on nearly five months. Now, however, it’s business as usual at the Vale facility.
“The entire workforce is back at the mine working on regular shifts,” said Angie Robson, manager of corporate and aboriginal affairs, in a message to The Star. She said employees were called back in mid-March for training and crews are now “performing value-added work in the orebodies, with production ramping up later this week.”
About 280 production and maintenance employees from Coleman were originally laid off as a result of the temporary shutdown, although some 230 workers “were recalled to either support the required repair work or to temporarily work at other mine sites,” said Robson.
Steelworkers 6500 president Rick Bertrand was not impressed when he got the news of the shutdown back in early November.
The union is “definitely not happy with the decision,” he told The Star at the time, arguing the repair work “could have been done a long time ago.”
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