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Fewer than 800 workers remain on site as Muskrat Falls shuts down

A large number of out-of-work Muskrat Falls employees have flown out of Happy Valley-Goose Bay since Saturday when a group of protesters walked onto the main site and began inhabiting some of the project’s living quarters.

Nalcor 'suspended work activities at site' Monday after protesters walked further into camp

Turnaround workers at Muskrat Falls fly in and out of Goose Bay Airport. Hundreds have gone through since Saturday when protesters stormed onto the main work site. (Katie Breen/CBC)

A large number of out-of-work Muskrat Falls employees have flown out of Happy Valley-Goose Bay since Saturday when a group of protesters walked onto the main site and began inhabiting some of the project's living quarters.

Neither Astaldi nor Nalcor have confirmed the exact amount, but workers have told CBC news at least 1400 people have been sent home.

The Crown corporation has said less than 800 employees remain on site.

"It's frustrating, I guess," Dean Pittman told CBC's Labrador Morning while waiting for a flight home to the Northern Peninsula.

"I just wish they could settle and everybody is satisfied with it, of course, then no more of this would be going on and we would be able to go back to work."

Site shut down

Part of the group of protesters who began living at the main site on Saturday walked closer to construction on Monday causing Nalcor to shut down operations.

"To ensure safety of everyone involved, we requested support from the RCMP and suspended work activities at site," a statement from Nalcor said.

Not laid off

The workforce has been shrinking as a result of the protest but Nalcor wouldn't say those workers were out of a job.

"I wouldn't go as far as to say that folks are laid off or if any layoffs has occurred," a Nalcor spokesperson wrote in a statement.

"That will take place with our contractors as they assess the current situation."

Astaldi, the mega project's main contractor, wouldn't nail down if layoffs have occurred or how many they've let go either.

"Unfortunately, we aren't able to provide the level of detail you're looking for [regarding] numbers," the contract's statement read.

"I can confirm for you that we are currently working with Nalcor to ensure non-essential workers peacefully and safely leave the site and return to their homes."

The contractor also is committing to reassess the circumstances with Nalcor as things change.

Both companies say safety is the top priority.