Saskatchewan

170 Regina Evraz steel mill workers laid off since May, company says more expected

A senior vice-president within Evraz North America confirmed the layoffs to CBC News, and said outside of the company's large pipe operations, business is strong.

Evraz says large pipe projects have slowed drastically, while other business 'strong'

Evraz confirmed it currently employs around 1,200 workers in Saskatchewan, and roughly 2,200 employees across Canada. (Cory Herperger/CBC)

A senior vice-president within Evraz North America says the company has laid off 170 steel mill workers in Regina since May and more layoffs are likely in the coming months.

Michael Yeats told CBC News Friday that the layoffs are due to the company idling its large-diameter pipe fabrication work.

"It's a very cyclical business and it is very project-based. In fact, all of 2021 that operation was idled and we weren't doing anything there," Yeats said in a phone call from Regina.

"We're doing very well as a business. It's just that particular product line."

Yeats said the company was able to start the large-pipe fabrication back up late last year. It ran for a few months to complete a project for Trans Canada, since renamed TC Energy, before idling again.

He said the company expects 50 to 75 more layoffs within its joint-venture operations in Regina in the coming months.

"That's really tied to the exact same projects that they're doing — finishing and coating work for that particular large diameter line pipe for that project for Trans Canada," he said.

CBC News has reached out to United Steelworkers Local 5890, the union representing Evraz mill employees, but had not received a response as of publication time.

Some workers moved within company

Evraz currently employs around 1,200 workers in Saskatchewan and roughly 2,200 employees across Canada.

Yeats said the company has invested in research and development for the transition to clean energy.

"With things like hydrogen transportation, carbon capture utilization and sequestration applications, we've got a suite of products that we've developed that are very well poised to serve that market," he said.

"We believe as that market continues to grow in Canada, it will go a long way to help us level out and balance the operations of large pipe fabrication here in Regina."

Yeats said some of Evraz's large-pipe workers have transitioned to the company's other steel-marking operations in Regina. Those employees are not included in the layoff numbers.

About 16 others, he said, were able to accept different positions at the company's Calgary facility.

Yeats noted that employees receiving layoffs were and will be offered "some sort of extension" of benefits for a period of time as per the collective bargaining agreement.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said about 60 employees were able to accept positions at Evraz's Calgary facility. In fact, the number was 16.
    Jun 18, 2022 8:07 AM CT

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniella Ponticelli is a reporter for CBC Saskatchewan. She has worked in print, broadcast and digital journalism in Manitoba and Saskatchewan since 2012. Get in touch with Daniella at daniella.ponticelli@cbc.ca or on Twitter @dponticelliTV.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now