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February 25th, 2011 8:17 AM

"This will have a huge ripple effect"

Blair Hudson
Union Representative for the United Food and Commercial Workers

There’s no question, if Vale cuts 500 jobs out of their operation, in a community of less than 15000, that will have a huge ripple effect. I would estimate there would probably be another 1500 jobs lost in Thompson, which would mean a lot of our members would lose their jobs. There just won’t be as many people living here.

Vale has had a significant role, not only in our community, but our lives personally. In my family, 4 of us have worked at Vale. My brother worked at the mine for 30 years, I used to work at the mine and my two sons currently work at Vale. One if not both of my sons’ jobs are in jeopardy. One of my sons will definitely lose his job, and whether he gets another job at Vale is another story.

I attended the town hall meeting in Thompson after the announcement. At the meeting, we were told there would not be layoffs. The Vale representative said they want to keep the smelter and refinery running for four more years then completely shut it down, so I don’t know how they can say there won’t be layoffs. We were told there would be attrition and they would be jobs found for the people who would lose their jobs, but I don’t see how that is possible. There’s not enough work to do underground for 500 people. Some of the answers given at the meeting were not believable.

There was no consultation and there is no trust.

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