National Gypsum could lay off 90 Halifax employees due to CN Rail strike

The Halifax quarry operated by the National Gypsum Company in 2016. National Gypsum Company

As many as 90 employees at the National Gypsum Company’s quarry in Halifax could be laid off if the strike at Canada’s biggest railroad continue, Global News has confirmed.

The strike at Canadian National Railway Co, entered its third day on Thursday with approximately 3,200 unionized workers hitting the picket line.

READ MORE: CN Rail strike enters 3rd day as talks continue with mediators

The largest strike in a decade has become a problem for the National Gypsum Company, a spokesperson confirmed.

“This strike has already impacted our ability to service our internal and external customers,” said Beth Straeten.

“A prolonged disruption could have a significant impact on the operations of our Halifax quarry and our 90 associates employed there.”

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Straten said layoffs in the company’s operations, dock and maintenance could happen as soon as Friday.

The quarry relies on CN Rail to ship as much as two trainloads of mined rock a day to their customers across Canada and the United States.

Gypsum is used in wallboard and cement plants.

“We continue to hope for a timely resolution that serves the interests of everyone affected,” said Straeten.

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CN Rail strike comes at critical time for farm, oil exports – Nov 19, 2019

Talks between CN Rail and its unionized workers continue with the assistance of federally-appointed mediators.

In a statement Thursday, CN Rail Chief Executive JJ Ruest said he regretted the impact the strike was having on customers and was committed to finding a solution.

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The railway has proposed binding arbitration, an option that the Teamsters Canadian Rail Conference union has rejected.

READ MORE: Quebec has less than 5 days propane left due to CN strike, premier says

At least one other province is bracing for the impact of the strike. Quebec Premier François Legault confirmed that the province has fewer than five days before it runs out of propane.

Quebec has already started to ration propane, reducing it to less than half the typical six million litres per day, Legault said. The province has about 12 million litres in reserve.

“We started to make choices,” he said Thursday. “That means we have enough for four days, four-and-a-half days.”

— With files from The Canadian Press, Reuters

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