Changes at Vale contribute to uncertain mood in Thompson (Thompson Citizen – August 29, 2018)

As Thompson reaches the end of the month that it was dreading for years, if not quite since the smelter and refinery closure plans were first announced in 2010, there’s a feeling that we might not be through the worst of the adjustment yet.

Over this summer, Vale has announced changes to its Manitoba Operations, including the elimination of Mark Scott’s former role as the vice-president in Thompson and the shifting of responsibility for overseeing the mine to Alistair Ross, the company’s new North Atlantic mines director.

A few weeks later, the maintenance shutdown was extended by three to four weeks to preach the importance of safety after some potentially dangerous incidents.

At the same time, it was announced that Warren Brass would be retiring this fall after 37 years with Vale and Inco in Thompson. Most recently, Manitoba Operations corporate affairs and human resources manager Ryan Land revealed that he would be taking a role with the company in Sudbury, though he will continue to work in Thompson periodically over the next few months and have responsibilities with Manitoba Operations over the longer term.

All of this is on the heels of the layoffs of 127 employees as of July 31, at which time 34 other hourly employees who had expected to be out of a job with the official closure of the smelter and refinery were told that their jobs would not be eliminated until the end of the year.

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