Ottawa Valley Railway Monday issued layoff notices
to 30 staff following a decision from Canadian
Pacific Railway to reroute its trains.
Canadian Pacific will reroute its freight trains to its own system between Sudbury and Montreal.
When the changeover will take effect is not known at this time.
“This is an incredibly unfortunate outcome of the declining economy,” said Scott Campbell, OVR general manager.
“We are very disappointed that we must reduce our workforce, however we hope when the economy rebounds that we can return to normal employment levels.”
Rerouted trains had accounted for about 85% of OVR’s overall traffic. The remaining business, 15%, represents shipments of paper from Tembec and other local businesses.
According to a media release issued by OVR, the change could last through 2009.
Most of the cuts will be made to OVR’s transportation department affecting train dispatchers, locomotive engineers and conductors.
Rene Leclerc, general chairman for Teamsters Rail Conference Line East representing more than 50 OVR workers in the North Bay area, said in a previous interview he had heard rumours the switchover was because of a dispute between the two multinational corporations over track maintenance.
He said Canadian Pacific doesn’t want to invest and has decided to claw back traffic on the OVR line.