Teck Resources announced they plan to lay off 500 full-time workers in order to achieve target cost reductions. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press/File

MLA anticipates further job loss in resource sector, following Teck announcement

MLA Tom Shypitka says this, “is devastating news for my communities.”

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka says he expects to see further job loss in the resource sector following an announcement by Teck Resources that it intends to cut 500 full-time workers.

Shyptika, who also serves as the Opposition Critic for Energy and Mines, says news of the layoffs, “comes in the face of further economic uncertainty generated by a government with a spending problem and no economic plan.”

He says the forest industry has already collapsed and we are now seeing confidence “plummet” in the mining sector under the watch of John Horgan and the NDP.

The Free Press previously reported news of an ‘unprecedented’ downturn in coal, following a letter sent to all coal employees on September 26 by Teck’s Senior Vice President of Coal, Robin Sheremeta. In the letter, the company outlined the cause of the downturn and how it could affect employees around the Elk Valley and parts of Alberta. Teck said it could result in a hiring freeze, project halts, job loss, and more.

The company operates four steelmaking mines in the Elk Valley and employs over 4,000 people.

During the last few weeks in September, the price of coal plunged from about $210/tonne to $130. Shypitka said that coal revenues pose a significant risk to the NDP budget. He says a drop of $20US in the average steelmaking coal price can result in a $50 to $70 million drop in tax revenue for the government.

“The vast majority of B.C.’s exports are in the resource sector, and without an economic plan to weather an expected slowdown in the global economy, we are going to see more layoffs in mining, forestry and all the industries that support the resource sector,” said Shypitka.

“All of Teck’s active mines are located in Kootenay East and this is devastating news for my communities.”



editor@thefreepress.ca

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