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Workers at the Long Harbour nickel processing plant where KBAC Constructors, a subcontractor for VALE, laid off 26 Irish welders after only three weeks Photo by: CBC.ca

Irish ambassador to Canada says case of laid off Irish workers is unusual

\"Workers

Workers at the Long Harbour nickel processing plant where KBAC Constructors, a subcontractor for VALE, laid off 26 Irish welders after only three weeks Photo by: CBC.ca

KBAC Constructors, a subcontractor for VALE, laid off 26 Irish welders after only three weeks at Long Harbour nickel processing plant in Canada and gave no reason for their early dismissal.

The Irish ambassador to Canada, Raymond Bassett, is claiming the incident is an uncommon one and that most workers coming to the country for jobs have had few complaints.

Ambassador Raymond Bassett has said the Irish people are interested in coming to Newfoundland and Labrador, and that companies there need skilled trades workers.

"The fact that people have such good experience in Newfoundland and Labrador has been a big selling point for companies who want to recruit Irish workers," Bassett said.

The workers, who were brought in to work 12 weeks on the site, are warning others not to cross the Atlantic for jobs.

"If you're expected to work and leave jobs for 10 to 14 weeks, and you get four, there's something radically wrong, very radically wrong," said worker Martin Masterson, according to CBC.ca.

The ambassador said other Irish workers across Canada have had mostly positive experiences.

"There will be difficulties and there will be cases where they don't work out, but the overall program is working very, very successfully, said Bassett.

"People are taking a very, very big challenge when they move across the Atlantic and the individual employee should be very careful about what they sign, but I also think there is a — if not totally a legal obligation — there is a moral obligation."

"If you take people across the Atlantic, you do your best to make sure what was promised was delivered."

Bassett said that while he is not worried that the incident will have a negative impact on the relationship between the countries, he does hope to settle any problems right away.

"Obviously these are regrettable occurrences, but I don't think it affects us unduly. In any one of those cases, there can be individual hardship. If there are difficulties, if there are glitches — we'd like to iron them out."

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