Xstrata Layoffs Violate Take-over Agreement, Devastate Sudbury Workers

    TORONTO, Feb. 9 /CNW/ - Xstrata Nickel's announcement of 578 permanent
layoffs of CAW Local 598 members at its Sudbury, Ontario operations is
devastating news for workers, their families and the greater Sudbury area, CAW
President Ken Lewenza said.
    "Working people across the country and in virtually every sector are
being hit by the current economic crisis. Our elected officials must move
quickly to stem these devastating job losses. This announcement highlights the
need for sector- specific industrial strategies that will put the mining
industry and other hard hit industries back on track," Lewenza said.
    Xstrata announced the shut down of all its Sudbury operations for three
days starting today. The company has indicated they will call back 578 CAW
members but permanently layoff 578 others. In total the company has announced
it will layoff 686 workers - including production, office and management.
    Xstrata purchased Falconbridge in July 2006 for $19 billion. When Xstrata
purchased Falconbridge they made a commitment to Investment Canada of no
layoffs for three years in return for taking over a major Canadian company,
which means July 2009.
    "Our members are shocked and have been left reeling by the severity of
this announcement by the company," said CAW Local 598 President Dwight Harper.
"The federal government must force Xstrata to live up to its commitments under
the takeover agreement."
    The loss of nearly 600 jobs will mean a drain of almost $50 million in
direct income to the local Sudbury economy. Each mining job creates another
four spin-off jobs which could also be in jeopardy as a result of the layoffs.

For further information:

For further information: contact CAW Local 598 President, Dwight Harper,
cell - (705) 690-0734; or Jerry Dias, assistant to the CAW President, cell -
(416) 315-1576

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Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)

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