Layoffs at PotashCorp announced this morning will be felt in communities across central Saskatchewan, says Unifor, the union representing many of the workers at the mine in Lanigan, Saskatchewan.
Unifor Local 922 will meet with company officials this afternoon to discuss details of the layoff and to finalize the list of those affected. In all, 440 jobs are being cut in Saskatchewan, including about 212 Unifor members in Lanigan.
Many of those workers live outside Lanigan, just east of Saskatoon, and commute to work. That means the layoffs, effective immediately and announced just three weeks before Christmas, will affect several small communities in rural Saskatchewan, Local 922 President Rick Suchy said.
“This is quite a shock. I got a call at 5am to meet with the company to get the news,” Suchy said.
Workers at the mine were told shortly after as they arrived to start their shifts, with many told to go home immediately. This afternoon’s meeting will discuss layoff and bumping provisions in the union contract, which calls for 8 weeks’ severance pay for a permanent layoff.
“The timing of this layoff will make for a very difficult Christmas for many families,” said Scott Doherty Unifor Western Director.
Local 922 represents 450 workers at PotashCorp. Unifor represents more than 300,000 workers in every major sector of the economy, and was formed Labour Day weekend with the merger of the Canadian Auto Workers with the Communications Energy and Paperworkers union.