Sudbury’s Vale suspension of operations, for safety reasons, at the Coleman Mine in Levack has now switched to a shutdown, and a temporary layoff of about 480 workers.
Late last week, a decision was made by Vale to temporarily suspend operations at the mine.
The company said some critical repair work was required in the shaft's ventilation compartment.
Tuesday afternoon, that changed.
"Upon further analysis of the work by our maintenance and engineering teams, it is now expected that the repair work will continue into December.” said Angie Robson, Vale’s Manager of Corporate and Aboriginal Affairs, in a statement.
“As a result, Coleman is now on short-term shutdown, and our employees at Coleman will be temporarily laid off for the period of the repair." said Robson’s statement.
Rick Bertrand, the USW Local 6500 President, is very un-happy with this decision.
"The company is violating the collective agreement. There's a 45-day notice for these kinds of shutdowns. Obviously we didn't receive that 45 day notice and due to the neglect of our shaft, unfortunately, our members are paying for it.” said Bertrand
“We’re going to be grieving this and fighting for our members to make sure that they get paid."
Bertrand says he feels some of his members should be able to “bump” into work at other mines, and he is discussing that with the company.
He also says workers will now be able to collect Employment Insurance during the temporary layoff, with a one-week waiting period and with “company top-ups” expected.