FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17th, 2014
MP for Labrador
Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador will be in Labrador West today and tomorrow, meeting with Towns, union representatives, companies and workers regarding the idling of the Wabush Mines, operated by Cliffs Natural Resources.
Since last Tuesday, Ms. Jones has engaged with the Union, Towns, and also with Cliffs. She is very concerned about the massive layoff of workers and what it will mean to families in the short and long term.
“As a result of discussions with Cliffs Natural Resources, I followed up with a letter asking them to clarify eligibility of displaced worker benefits and specifically asked that they look at a bridging program for long time employees to allow them to retire. The majority of the work force would not be eligible for this option so it is imperative they have access to retraining and the first opportunity for employment with other mining operations in the area. To this end I wrote all of the local based mining companies last week as well requesting they give priority to displace workers. That will be followed up this week with meetings with The Iron Ore Company of Canada and Alderon. Further to this, I will be meeting this week with other companies that have proposed development activity in the area.”
Ms. Jones went on to discuss her first priority over the coming days:
“I want to ensure that these workers and their families are looked after. The Union, Towns, and companies need to come together to help these people out. We need to do what is necessary to reduce the impact of this development with Wabush Mines on the people. Workers were not prepared for this decision and unaware of Cliffs’ plans.”
Christian von Donat