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No layoffs at Invista plant, according to company

No layoffs at Invista plant, according to company
Despite one media report, Invista says they have not laid off any employees due to the rail blockade in Tyendinaga, Ont.

Despite one media report claiming there have been layoffs at the Invista plant due to material shortages caused by the Tyendinga, Ont., rail blockade, the company says none of their employees have been laid off.

Global News received an anonymous tip saying the company had laid off 500 of its employees, but Monday morning the company denied this was the case.

READ MORE: OPP arrest multiple protesters at Tyendinaga Mohawk rail blockade

“I can confirm that we have not laid off any employees. We continue to monitor the situation on the blockades closely,” Paul Brown, media relations for Invista, said in an email.

Invista manufactures nylon, polyester and specialty materials at their plant in Kingston, which has been open since the late 1940s.

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On Sunday, the Kingstonist reported unnamed employees claiming the plant had let go of many of their workers due to the blockade in Tyendinaga. The blockade was disrupted by OPP Monday morning after 19 days of blocking rail travel in Ontario.

The protest action in Tyendinaga was first set up in support of Wet’suwet’en Nation hereditary chiefs, and blocked both passenger and commercial rail between Toronto and Ottawa for over two weeks.

Global News accessed an email sent to employees from Invista management, saying the one media report of layoffs was inaccurate. The email did admit production at the plant has been slowed, but that none of their employees had been temporarily let go.

Rail blockades beginning to impact economy: Kawartha Lakes farmer
Rail blockades beginning to impact economy: Kawartha Lakes farmer

“As a significant portion of our production is curtailed due to the impact of the rail blockade, employees continue to work, albeit many on different work – advancing our transformation and getting our assets ready to return to operation once the flow of raw materials is reestablished,” Christine Blais, from the company’s human resources team, wrote in the email.

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The email added they may have to change their direction if the blockades were not resolved, but news of layoffs would be communicated to them directly.

“Critical information of this nature will always be communicated to our employees directly and not through the media,” the email read.

More information to come.