Teck Coal Ltd. will be enforcing mandatory vacation shutdowns for all Fording River Operations employees and contractors.
According to a letter sent from Teck to all Fording River employees on February 26, 2020, employees will be required to schedule vacation time from August 2-16. The letter was sent from Richard Whittington, the general manager of operations at Fording River.
Nic Milligan is the manager of social responsibility at Teck. He noted that “due to logistics issues we are starting 2020 with record high site inventory levels.”
The logistic issues he refers to were listed in the letter to employees.
“Teck’s steelmaking coal business has faced a number of significant challenges throughout the beginning of 2020 that are impacting sales and production,” it read. “The largest impact has come from continued rail and port constraints as a result of extreme winter weather conditions and recent rail line blockades.”
In the letter to employees, Teck stated that as a result, Fording River Operations will reduce production from 8.6 million clean tonnes to 7.45 million clean tonnes over the course of 2020. The vacation shutdowns are a direct response to this reduction in production.
Milligan noted that “Teck will be temporarily reducing production and our steelmaking coal operations will be taking periods of extended vacation downtime over the balance of the year.”
The letter noted that it was intended to keep employees up to date but that there may be further changes moving forward. Teck has promised to keep employees updated with any new information and will let people know about personnel for critical mine activities such as mine rescue and fire watch.
“As a business unit, we have worked through these difficult issues in the past and will do so again,” Whittington said in his letter. “As always, our primary focus will be on ensuring the health and safety of our people as we manage our way through these challenges.”