Vale cuts startle Thompson residents
People in the Manitoba city of Thompson are wondering how the community will cope in the wake of an impending closure of its largest employer.
Brazilian mining company Vale SA announced Wednesday it will close its smelter and refinery by 2015, meaning the loss of 500 jobs in the community.
The city's top politician suggested he was blindsided by the cuts.
"We certainly didn't see that at this current time," said Mayor Tim Johnson.
Johnson said he hopes something can be done to change the company's mind.
"No one wants to see the loss of 500 jobs, but one of the opportunities that we have is to take a look at the window that's been provided of five years and say, 'how does this play out?,'" Johnson said.
David Krueger, who works at a local boat and snowmobile shop, suggested the closure would spell bad news for the city of about 14,000.
"It's going to definitely affect business, for sure," Krueger said.
Premier Greg Selinger, along with ministers Dave Chomiak and Steve Ashton are in the city Thursday to talk with company officials to see if Vale SA's plans could somehow be revised.
Thompson is located about 750 kilometres north of Winnipeg.