Whitby steel mill ‘Gerdau’ negatively impacted by rail blockades

The rail blockade in support of the Wet’suwet’en Nation appears to be affecting more than just rail service in the Durham region.

Gerdau, a steel mill in Whitby, has come out saying they have seen a negative impact on their operations. The company, which employs more than 500 people, relies on a rail system that goes right into their property.

“This disruption is impacting our ability to serve our customers throughout Canada,” Adam Parr, communications director with the company, tells Global News. “This is seriously affecting how we do our jobs and receiving necessary input supplies.”

The steel mill makes products like rebar, flats, squares and various other steel pieces. The materials are used in construction projects, machining equipment, appliances and the automotive industry.

Demonstrators set up the blockades in solidarity with some of the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation who are opposed to the Coastal GasLink natural gas line project in northern B.C.

Gerdau wouldn’t comment on whether or not this could impact jobs, but said: “We are doing all that we can to mitigate the impact, but our ability to continue steel-making operations in Whitby is being threatened.”

The Town of Whitby also drafted a resolution at a recent council meeting, asking for federal and provincial governments to end the blockades, urgently and safely.

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