About 400 Evraz steel mill employees in Regina brace for layoffs over holidays

Hundreds of workers in the tubular division at the Evraz steel mill in Regina are bracing for tough times ahead as plans for further layoffs surface.

Nearly 400 of 500 employees are expected to lose their jobs over the holidays, with about 50 employees already laid off, effective Friday.

Read more: Up to 500 jobs could be lost at Regina’s Evraz steel mill: union

Mike Day, United Steelworkers Local 5890 president, said some employees have already received layoff notices and that more will come every couple of weeks until mid-January.

“2020, to say the least, has been has been very trying with the amount of layoffs back and forth,” Day said.

“You’re looking at 2021 like everybody else hoping this turns around because we’re in the spot of one slap in the face after another.”

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At about the same time last year, Day said the tubular division had about 700 workers.

Read more: Evraz hit by cyberattack, temporarily lays off workers

Patrick Waldron, Evraz North America’s director, communications and industry affairs, says the layoffs are something that can’t be avoided.

“Overall, it has been a challenging market in 2020 given the current economic conditions, but particularly difficult in the energy industry which is our primary customer,” Waldron said in an email to Global News Wednesday.

“Those current economic conditions continue to represent headwinds for production and sales volumes for our product groups in Regina.

“These staffing adjustments are matching the size of our workforce with the demand for production of our tubular products.”

Read more: Evraz North America fined $322K following 2018 workplace incident at Regina plant

Waldron said the company will continue to search for new business opportunities for its workers, to help avoid future layoffs.

The steel division at Evraz is still operating at full capacity.

Although a high number of employees being laid off have recall rights, meaning they could get back to work if economic conditions change, Day said he doesn’t see that happening any time soon.

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