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Via Rail says Industrial Rail layoffs unnecessary

MONCTON, N.B. – Via Rail’s chief operating officer says laying off workers won’t help Industrial Rail get back on track with their refurbishment contract for Via.

Moncton-based Industrial Rail has a $109-million contract with Via to refurbish 98 coach cars.

Two weeks ago, structural problems were found in the cars, and the work stopped.

Industrial Rail said Via had to fix the problem before refurbishment work could continue.

This week came news of layoffs.

John Marginson says it was a completely unnecessary move, as the problem was found quickly, and says they were surprised at the action.

“We felt and we still feel that it was a very kneejerk reaction.  We’re very disappointed.”

Marginson says they now need to know how much it will cost to fix the structural issues and review the costs.

Industrial Rail was expected to hire up to 70 more employees for the project, but that has also been put on hold.

The project is already well behind schedule.

Marginson says as of this week, they should have received 27 rebuilt cars; so far only 10 have been finished.