CORNER BROOK — Service Canada staff in Corner Brook know their jobs are on the line, but right now that's all they know.
Exactly how is something that will continue to unfold as the federal government moves to reduce the number of employment insurance processing centres in the country.
Jeannie Baldwin, regional executive vice-president — Atlantic for the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) confirmed Wednesday that "affected letters" had gone out to staff in the past couple of days.
In Corner Brook some 21 or 22 employees received letters telling them their jobs were vulnerable.
One employee in St. Anthony, two in Springdale and one in Rocky Harbour also received letters.
The workers are represented by the Canada Employment Immigration Union (CEIU), a division of PSAC.
Baldwin didn't have a copy of the letter, but said it most likely identifies the workers' jobs as affected and informs them a decision will be made later on as to what that means for each individual. She said when that information is known, the workers will have some decisions to make in terms of relocating or looking for other positions in the public service.
She said what the federal government is doing is "totally unacceptable," and it will impact not only the workers, but also the people they serve.
"Service Canada's key function is to provide frontline services to Canadians," Baldwin said. "But the government is making cuts, making changes to the EI legislation, and not saying how it will impact the workplaces.
"We know that it'll seriously compromise the frontline services that we provide to all Canadians.
"They're saying that they're doing these letters, but when you ask them what programs and services are being cut they have do idea, but you're job is being impacted."
Meanwhile, Liberal MP Gerry Byrne said the number of letters received in Corner Brook this week and previously, suggest the government is considering closing down the Service Canada office here completely.
And in his opinion, there are no best management practices or good management procedures involved in what is happening.
Byrne said the federal government is creating a growing sense of vulnerability among workers by not releasing exact details of the coming cuts.
"The government already knows the answer to how many people will lose their jobs," he said. "They're causing untold anxiety and frustration to just about every federal worker in the government of Canada by not announcing the decisions they've already come to."