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Vale cuts 30 non-union jobs in Sudbury

Vale is cutting 30 support and service jobs at its Sudbury operations, the company announced March 20.
Citing volatile market conditions and cost challenges, Vale announced today that it plans to move to a single-furnace operation at its Copper Cliff smelter. File photo.

Vale is cutting 30 support and service jobs at its Sudbury operations, the company announced March 20.

In a statement, the company said the cuts are a result of a review that began last year to “reinvent the business model for Vale’s base metals organization.”

The goal is to lower operating costs to make Vale more competitive, the statement said, in the face of a difficult metals market.

“This review has clearly demonstrated the need to reduce fixed costs. Unfortunately, this includes a reduction in workforce levels, particularly in support and service functions both here in Ontario and around the world.”

The company offered voluntary retirement packages to some workers, and tried to relocate others to its operations in Ontario, Manitoba and Newfoundland.

“Despite these efforts, it was necessary to reduce 30 support and service positions in Sudbury,” the statement said. “These decisions, while difficult, are part of a wider organizational review designed to reduce costs, ensure continued competitiveness and strengthen the sustainability of our operations in Sudbury.”

All the jobs being cut are full-time, non-union positions at the company, which has had a hiring freeze in place since September. Vale is coping with slumping nickel prices, which are hovering around US$7.50 a pound, down from the US$12-$13 range from a few years ago.

In an email, Vale spokesperson Angie Robson said she couldn’t speculate on whether more job cuts are on the way.

“But I can tell you that all costs will continue to be examined with an eye to finding ways to sustainably reduce spending,” she said. 

“This includes continuing our reorganization efforts to optimize resources across the business. We will continue to do our best to minimize impacts on our people as much as possible.”

Darren MacDonald

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