Evraz North America has issued layoff notices to 500 members of the United Steelworkers (USW) at Evraz Steel’s Tubular Division in Regina, Saskatchewan.
The company’s layoff notice states that these workers are being laid off indefinitely, effective end of shift on Dec. 17, 2020. The notice follows previous layoffs in November.
“These new layoffs are coming during a very difficult time, as we are in the middle of a pandemic and Christmas is just a few weeks away. The impact on our members, their families and our community is going to be very tough,” said Mike Day, USW Local 5890 President.
“It’s been no secret that layoffs were coming, but we didn’t expect this many all at once, especially before the holidays,” added Day. “It is devastating. We were expecting a shorter list of layoffs, as we were told from the company that this would happen gradually with 50 or so layoffs per week, not all at once.”
Last year at this time there were close to 700 workers employed in the Tubular division. Currently, there are about 500 workers. With no new big orders on the books, the company is wrapping up orders and only 80 to 100 workers are expected to continue working into January.
The Canadian steel industry is facing decreased demand as the energy sector continues to struggle with infrastructure projects using cheaper steel obtained offshore, according to a Dec. 3 statement.
“We have many federal and provincial projects being built across the country and our governments are not using Canadian-made material, resulting in the loss of good-paying Canadian jobs,” said Stephen Hunt, USW Western Canada Director.
“We can manufacture steel for pipelines here in Canada, including for upcoming projects for SaskEnergy and the TC Energy pipeline in northern Alberta, yet these contracts were awarded to foreign companies. If we don’t start buying Canadian-made steel we will witness the collapse of our steel industry. Our governments are failing to protect Canadian jobs by not having a Canadian-made procurement strategy for public infrastructure projects,” added Hunt.
Stand Up for Steel is the USW’s national campaign to inject stability into the steel sector that includes a made-in-Canada policy and a reformed trade policy that would, among other things, allow unions to launch trade complaints.
For more information on USW’s campaign to Stand Up for Steel, go to www.usw.ca/standupforsteel.Tags: Evraz North America, Pipe Manufacturing