CN to ship onions after delay causes Nova Scotia firm to announce layoffs

OXFORD, N.S. – CN says it will ship a railway car filled with onions to a factory in Nova Scotia that announced the temporary layoffs of about 160 people Thursday due to delays in receiving the cargo.

Mark Hallman, a spokesman for CN, says he also expects three other cars filled with onions will be sent from its Markham Yard in Illinois to Oxford Frozen Foods in Oxford, N.S.

A holdup in the onion shipments caused the Nova Scotia factory to announce temporary layoffs earlier in the day.

Corey Sigut, general manager of appetizer production at the company, said carloads of the onions have been transferred for years by U.S.-based Union Pacific to CN (TSX:CNR) at the Markham Yard and then shipped to Nova Scotia.

But Sigut said his firm became frustrated recently after the two railways blamed each other when there were delays in transferring the cargo.

CN had said it hadn’t received the cars from Union Pacific, while Union Pacific said it hadn’t received official notice from CN that it could send the onions to the Markham Yard.

Sigut said late Thursday that the company plans to resume normal production when the onions begin reaching Oxford, but added that will take several days.