Sudbury

Sault Ste. Marie Tenaris Tubes employees to get layoff notices on Saturday

It could be a less than jolly holiday for several dozen workers at Tenaris Tubes in Sault Ste. Marie.

Company announced the layoffs last month, ahead of a 3 week shutdown

Some employees at Tenaris Tubes will be laid off on Saturday. (Erik White/CBC)

It could be a less than jolly holiday for 78 workers at Tenaris Tubes in Sault Ste. Marie.

They will officially get their layoff notice on Saturday, following an announcement by the company last month.

At the time, Tenaris said 90 employees would lose their jobs Dec. 15. 

Cody Alexander, the president of United Steelworkers Local 9548, says a dozen or so will be kept on into January to train co-workers to do the specific jobs they used to. 

Despite the poor timing of the layoffs, Alexander says his members aren't blaming Tenaris. 

"I don't think anybody believes its vindictive on the part of the company. They're honouring the three stats throughout the Christmas holidays, which they aren't obligated by law or the collective agreement to do," he says.

"So the company's trying to minimize the effect on the workers as well."

In particular, these cuts come just before the winter drilling season for oil and gas exploration companies in western Canada who are scaling back due to sagging prices. 

Alexander says layoffs are becoming more common for his 450 members.

He says the group getting laid off now is largely young people, many of whom have just bought homes and started families.

"In the end once the layoff comes, E.I. doesn't support that lifestyle," Alexander said.

"So, we do notice that workers do... we get worried about their mindfulness at work, especially when it comes to safety and stuff, because you can visibly see the stress on their faces."

He says the up and down in the steel business is prompting many of these workers to get re-trained for new careers. 

But Alexander hopes that their experience might land them other manufacturing jobs in Sault Ste. Marie, such as at Algoma Steel, which has said it's looking to hire as it emerges from bankruptcy protection. 

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