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Saint John mourning loss of more good blue-collar jobs

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SAINT JOHN —
The food processing giant Saputo now says 81 workers will lose their jobs next year when the former Baxter’s Dairy closes in Saint John, not the 200 reported yesterday. Efforts are underway to find new jobs for those affected, as a sometimes painful transition continues in the Saint John economy.

The north end of the city has been home to the milk processing plant for almost a century.   

That tradition is coming to an end next year, with the closure of Saputo Foods — a plant located in the riding of the province’s labour minister.

“Our economy is transitioning here,” said New Brunswick Labour Minister Trevor Holder.

He’s confident that in the coming months, other jobs will be found for the people about to lose their livelihoods.

“We’ve had great success in the past making sure that people find work elsewhere,” he said. “If we need to retrain them, we retrain them.”

Others say the transition will not be easy.

“Lots of those people will have to leave Saint John,” says port worker Owen Boyle. “They’ll have to leave New Brunswick to find jobs.”

Boyle is a long-time supporter of blue collar jobs in the city. He says jobs like those in the Saputo plant are hard to replace.

“When you go by there, it’s a big huge parking lot, it’s full of cars,” Boyle said. “High-end cars, so they’re high-end jobs.”

Saputo, or what used to be called Baxter’s, joins a long list of traditional industries in Saint John that used to form the backbone of the local economy.

The list includes Saint John Shipbuilding, the Simms brush factory, Labatt’s Brewery and the Lantic sugar refinery — all gone within a period of two decades.

“What we’re trying to do is hold on to our traditional, we make things, we export things, we sell things, to, we create things, we innovate things,” says Ron Gaudet, who heads up the economic development office for Greater Saint John.

He agrees the economy is in transition, but he says, the long term trend is favorable.

“There are pains and there are gains but overall, we think there are lots of opportunities in Atlantic Canada and in the Saint John region in particular,” Gaudet says.

Government and private sector efforts are underway to organize a job fair for Saputo workers who will lose their jobs next year.

After initially saying that 200 jobs would be lost in Saint John, the company issued a correction and an apology on Friday, saying it got the numbers mixed up.

The loss of 200 jobs is at the Trenton, Ont., plant. There will be 81 jobs lost when the Saint John plant closes.

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Missing Dunkirk Swimmer Located, Reported To Be Safe | News, Sports, Jobs

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A swimmer who went missing for more than 30 minutes in Lake Erie, was found and rescued on Sunday afternoon by emergency crews near Point Gratiot.

The major search began when the swimmer reportedly went missing around 3:20 p.m. According to scanner reports, the subject was seen near the cliffs close to the Dunkirk Lighthouse. The individual was later found on a cliff at around 4 and added rescue support was needed to reach him.

The swimmer, according to scanner reports, was a male in his 20s.

Dunkirk Fire Department, the Chautauqua County Dive Team, the U.S. Coast Guard and county coordinators responded to the scene.

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UPDATE: Jamestown Man Killed In Morning Crash | News, Sports, Jobs

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Photo by the New York State Police

A Jamestown man was killed in a one-vehicle crash early Sunday.

A passing motorist around 5 a.m. spotted lights off the road to the eastbound on-ramp to Interstate 86 at North Main Street Ext. A trooper located a 2003 Pontiac Vibe on its side with one person inside.

The driver, later identified as 40-year-old Jeffrey A. Baker, was pronounced dead, the state police said in a news release.

Capt. Eric Balon said the vehicle reportedly entered the on-ramp at a high rate of speed when it left the road and traveled down an embankment.

Firefighters from Fluvanna and Falconer were summoned, as well as Chautauqua County EMS. A coroner was later called to the scene.

The body was taken to the medical examiner’s office in Erie County.

The crash remains under investigation, Balon said.

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More than 139,000 jobs at risk as extent of planned redundancies due to Covid-19 revealed

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Nearly 1,800 UK companies told the government of plans to cut 20 or more jobs in June as the coronavirus wreaked havoc on the country’s economy, figures suggest.

Royal Mail, Centrica and The Restaurant Group – which owns Frankie and Benny’s – were among those announcing four-digit job losses.

The worrying figures come as data obtained by ITV News revealed this week the crippling impact coronavirus is likely to have on towns and cities across the UK. With the full winding down of the furlough scheme by October, more than seven per cent of the UK’s workforce could be unemployed by the end of the year, according to the Bank of England.

Now, figures obtained by the BBC in a Freedom of Information request showed 1,778 companies informed the Insolvency Service of their intention to cut more than 139,000 jobs in England, Scotland and Wales.

This compares to 345 companies announcing a total of 24,000 job losses in June 2019, the broadcaster said.

Biggest job cuts announced during Covid-19 outbreak Credit: PA Graphics

Businesses are required by law to give the Insolvency Service advance notification of potential redundancies where more than 20 staff are to be dismissed in a “single establishment”.

However, companies may not end up making the same number of redundancies as initially suggested and these figures will not contain information of job losses from smaller firms.

The UK economy shrank by more than 20% in the first half of the year due to Covid-19, and grim news has continued with further announcements of job losses seen in the past seven days.

Dixons Carphone, Pizza Express, Hays Travel and DW Sports all announced major redundancies, or plans that could put hundreds of jobs at risk.

It comes as many businesses have to decide whether or not to keep staff who have been on furlough on their books as the Government’s coronavirus job retention scheme starts to unwind.

More than 26,000 jobs were lost at British employers in July, according to analysis by the PA news agency.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak Credit: Andy Buchanan/PA

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has resisted calls to extend the furlough scheme with targeted measures to stave off widespread job losses, saying the support cannot go on “indefinitely”.

The scheme that has so far cost £33.8 billion supporting the payrolls of 9.6 million workers during the coronavirus crisis has begun tapering off ahead of its scheduled end in October.

But opposition parties are calling for the Government to extend it for the hardest-hit sectors and those plunged into local lockdown, warning the end to the scheme is a “grave mistake”.


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