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65 miners' jobs saved

Working together, KGHM International and Steelworkers Local 2020 officials have managed to save the jobs of 65 miners currently working at the company's Podolsky Mine. Operations at the mine are due to be suspended at the end of March.
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Working together, KGHM International and Steelworkers Local 2020 officials have managed to save the jobs of 65 miners currently working at the company's Podolsky Mine.

Operations at the mine are due to be suspended at the end of March. KGHM was previously known as Quadra FNX before it was bought out.

Wes Dowsett, the Steelworkers' northeastern Ontario co-ordinator, said the company has now identified 85 positions it's eliminating at Podolsky.

But a committee comprised of three Steelworkers reps and three company reps has found jobs for 65 of these workers at the company's other properties — Levack, McCreedy and Craig mines.

“Many of these jobs are being saved because there are contractors on the property doing work that our members were capable of doing,” he said. “So in those circumstances, the contractors will be replaced by our own employees.”

These workers are all staying at their “current classification and wage rates, which is also good news,” Dowsett said.

That leaves another 20 positions which may be eliminated. However, Dowsett said the committee is still looking to see if there might be jobs for these workers as well. If there are any layoffs, they will be done based on seniority.

Dowsett said he met with his members Jan. 22, and they responded well to the work that's been done to save their jobs.

“They seemed very pleased, generally, about how this process is working, and what the end results are going to be.”

KGHM has been “extremely co-operative” in trying to find a placement for as many Podolsky workers as possible.

“They've put a human face to this, unlike historical relationships,” Dowsett said. “They've made it clear that they genuinely do care about their workforce from that perspective.”


Heidi Ulrichsen

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