(Trail Times file photo)

No layoffs at Teck Trail, says spokesperson

Reduction targets met by attrition, expiry of temp positions, and deferring of job vacancies

The Trail smelter workforce will see little change in the latest trimming of jobs announced at company headquarters last week.

On Thursday, Teck Resources said it would be cutting 500 full-time jobs from its roster of around 10,000 employees, and deferring spending by roughly $500 million in 2020.

“We do not anticipate any layoffs at Trail Operations,” Teck Trail spokesperson Carol Vanelli Worosz told the Trail Times on Monday.

“At Trail Operations, we review our costs and efficiencies on a routine basis, including employee levels.

“While there will be a modest reduction in employee levels at Trail Operations, we do not anticipate significant changes at this time,” Vanelli Worosz said.

“Any reductions will likely be achieved through a combination of retirements and attrition, the expiry of temporary positions, and deferring filling a number of current job vacancies.”

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The Vancouver-based miner said it wants to improve efficiency and productivity after reporting its third-quarter profit attributable to shareholders fell to $369 million, down from earnings of $1.28 billion in the same quarter last year.

“While our financial position is strong, in light of uncertain economic conditions, Teck has implemented a company-wide cost reduction program,” Vanelli Worosz continued. “To reduce our operating costs, and planned capital spending for the balance of 2019 and 2020, targeting reductions of approximately $500 million from previously planned spending through the end of 2020.”

The company said in a regulatory filing earlier this year it had about 10,000 full-time “regular” employees as of the end of 2018, with about 4,400 in coal operations, 2,500 in copper and 2,200 in its zinc mining sector.

For 2020, the company plans to trim a further $330 million in spending, including $130 million from its capital plans.

“While our financial position remains strong, we have implemented a company-wide cost reduction program with reduced spending,” said Teck CEO Don Lindsay on a conference call.

“Over the past few years, we have been focused on maximizing production to capture margins during periods of higher commodity prices,” Lindsay said on the call.

“However, current global economic uncertainties are having a significant negative effect on the prices of our products, particularly steelmaking coal.”

Lindsay said Teck’s operations in Chile have not been affected so far by protests sparked by public transportation price hikes which have resulted in several deaths.

He said about 5,000 people are working on construction of its Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 mining project there and funding will continue because it is a key component of future growth.

The company’s Neptune Bulk Terminals expansion in Vancouver is also a “priority project” that will continue to attract funding.

~ With files from Canadian Press



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