July 31, 2012
20 Irish pipefitters recruited by PCL to work on potash mine laid off
Twenty Irish immigrants recruited to work in Saskatchewan have been laid off.
The workers were among 50 pipefitters who were helping to expand Agrium's Vanscoy potash mine southwest of Saskatoon.
A spokesperson for contractor PCL Construction says pipefitting work on the project has wrapped up for now, and isn't expected to resume until early next year.
PCL was among 27 Saskatchewan employers who offered a total of 280 jobs to Irish skilled workers as part of a recruitment mission in that country earlier this year.
PCL spokesman Mike Long says there was a gap in the schedule the company didn't foresee when recruitment was going on.
Long says company and provincial officials met with the Irish workers who were laid off to help them find new work, but he says the workers - quote - "didn't really seem interested in taking us up on our offer to help them."
Long says PCL will be looking to rehire or replace the 50 workers who were laid off, and will be hiring additional labour when construction on the project ramps up early next year.
"Obviously it's not the ideal situation and we understand that they've come here and it's a big step to come here, and it's a big step for us to go through that process to get them here."
News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2012
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