Mine closures and worker adjustment: The case of Pine Point

Glenn Kendall

Economic uncertainty in the mining industry makes adequate labour adjustment mechanisms particularly important. In any industry, a closure implies substantial economic and social adjustment. However, in a mining community the problems are different. The labour market is small and often geographically remote, and the strong social links that develop in a small town can make relocation and job change more difficult. The purpose of this chapter is to examine the labour force adjustment process in mining using a case study approach. Specifically, the chapter examines the 1987 closure of the Pine Point Mine Limited lead-zinc mine at Pine Point, Northwest Territories. Based on a series of three questionnaires administered over a nine-month period following the closure, the study traces the geographic relocation of 200 hourly workers and their reintegration into the labour force. Issues considered include the workers' attachment to the mining industry, unemployment spells, wage adjustment, and role of retraining, and the impact of the government assistance programmes which were made available.

Kendall, G. (1992). Mine closures and worker adjustment: The case of Pine Point. In C. Neil, M. Tykkylainen & J. Bradbury (Eds.), Coping with closure: An international comparison of mine town experiences (pp. 131-150). London; New York: Routledge.

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Closure, Post-closure
Mine closures and worker adjustment: The case of Pine Point