Nutrien has said they expect to lay off hundreds of employees at their Vanscoy and Allan mines as a direct result of railway performance challenges.
In an emailed statement, vice president Richard Downey said:
“Nutrien’s potash employees have been given notice that they may experience downtime at their operations to manage inventory levels. This is a direct result of railway performance challenges experienced so far this year. We expect downtime will be required at our Vanscoy and Allan mine. If there is a strike at CP Rail, this could result in additional mines requiring downtime.”
The Vanscoy mine employs 700 people. Downey said that as it stands currently, there will be 470 employees affected.
Layoffs won’t take place at the Allan mine until May 6. When that time comes, Downey has estimated 140 employees to be affected.
There is no timetable for how long the layoffs will last, although Downey did suggest a CP strike would lengthen the downtime.
Downey noted these layoffs are not unusual and are often used to manage inventory, however, he said it’s rare that they are the direct result of challenges with rail service.