LABRADOR WEST, N.L.
The Steelworkers Union (USW6) has set up a community fund for a medical plan for former members who worked at Wabush Mines.
The fund is set up to provide post-employment benefits for the current retired union members of the Scully Mine. The steelworkers will administer the fund and the use of the fund assets.
Tony Di Paulo, assistant to USW6 director, told The Aurora, “The fund is an important and valuable breakthrough for the former workers at Scully Mine. The workers deserve the respect and security these benefits will provide, and they will make a big difference in the lives of many families.
“The fund is being set up to provide medical benefits that the workers lost when Wabush Mines closed. We have been working for more than a year to get this, and are very happy to announce this news, especially at this time of the year.”
Di Paulo also told The Aurora that Tacora has committed to contributing quarterly to the fund for the life of the four-year contract they have in place with the company.
Di Paulo says they are pleased with plans to reopen Wabush Mines.
The Steelworkers will be in touch with the former Scully workers. He said putting this program in place will take some more time, but he hopes they will be able to begin providing benefits around June.
The workers lost their medical benefits in 2016, as well as a big portion of their pensions. Court proceedings last year resulted in a one-time payment in lieu of medical benefits for former workers, and pensions are to be restored to 90 per cent to the original pensions. That is still being worked on and is expected to be reinstated within the next several months.