Permanent closure of Brunswick Smelter a devastating blow to hundreds of families, entire region, Steelworkers say.
BELLEDUNE, NB, Nov. 13, 2019 /CNW/ - Resource giant Glencore and the New Brunswick and federal governments must do everything possible to support families and communities affected by the pending closure of the Brunswick Smelter in Belledune, N.B., the United Steelworkers (USW) says.
"This is a devastating blow to hundreds of families and their communities in this region," Marty Warren, USW Director for Atlantic Canada and Ontario, said of Glencore's decision to permanently close the Brunswick Smelter within the next few weeks.
"Glencore is adamant that its decision is final, stating that it cannot operate the facility on a sustainable basis due to global economic factors," Warren said following discussions today with company representatives.
"Glencore has stated explicitly that the closure is not related to any issues with the smelter's workforce, including members of USW Local 7085 who have been involved in a labour dispute since April 24 of this year," Warren noted.
"The company has pledged to 'be more than reasonable' in working with the union to support the workers affected by the closure," he added.
More than 400 workers at the Brunswick Smelter will be affected, including 280 members of USW Local 7085.
"The Steelworkers will be pressing the provincial and federal governments, as well as Glencore, to do everything they can to assist these workers, their families and their communities," Warren said.
Issues that will need to be addressed by the company and governments include severance packages, pension and benefits protection, employment insurance provisions, training and assistance with new job opportunities and support to local communities, he added.
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information: Lawrence McKay, USW Area Co-ordinator, Atlantic Canada, 506-857-0999, 506-232-8472, [email protected]; Marty Warren, USW District 6 Director, 416-243-8792; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, [email protected]