North Atlantic says they’re “disappointed” after union meeting

Published on December 6, 2016

Come By Chance refinery

©TC Media file photo

North Atlantic Refining is saying they’re disappointed in the outcome of their meeting with local union representatives earlier today.

In a press release issued this evening, North Atlantic says they met with the United Steelworkers International representatives with the objective to review proposals and assess how to reduce the impact of the workforce reduction, which is scheduled to take place in March 2017.

North Atlantic announced the layoff of 100-plus unionized workers last month at the oil refinery in Come By Chance.

According to the release, North Atlantic says both the company and union agreed to meet and review proposals on how to lessen the number of impacted employees last week.

Now, North Atlantic is saying it appears the union has changed its stance on the issue and now say they are not willing to discuss anything less than a commitment of zero job loss.

North Atlantic Company officials are adamant that is not an option.

“There must be a reduction in the workforce if the refinery is going to continue to be viable,” said Refinery Manager Dan Harris.

“We are trying to do the right thing, we expected to discuss with the union today a way forward that reduces the impact on those affected as much as possible, but the union is just not interested in doing that.”

The release further stated, in this economic climate, the refinery’s current performance is not sustainable.

“The refinery currently employs approximately 44 per cent more people than a lower tier European Refinery,” said the release. “The company is focused on ensuring that it is able to remain operational and continue to provide employment for the remaining 465 employees.”

North Atlantic says they are committed to upholding safe and reliable operations.

TC Media will have more information as it becomes available.