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1,000 workers laid off after construction of Vale nickel plant completes phase

LONG HARBOUR, N.L. – An official with Vale in Newfoundland says about 1,000 people were laid off today because a construction phase at the nickel processing plant in Long Harbour has been finished.

Bob Carter, manager of corporate affairs with Vale, says workers completed a phase of mechanical work last Thursday, adding that the company had indicated layoffs were coming.

As a result, he says contractors laid off the workers with plans to call back up to 800 people Tuesday morning to work on the commissioning and startup of the plant.

He says they’ve eliminated night shifts and reduced the scheduling down to day shifts only.

The company expects to be producing nickel next year.

Carter says the construction workforce peaked at about 6,000 late last summer since work began in Long Harbour in 2009.