REGINA -- Co-op says around 100 temporary layoff notices will be issued in the coming weeks for employees at the Co-op Refinery Complex in Regina.

In a statement, Co-op said the reason for the layoffs is the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on business and practices at the complex.

“Self-isolation measures have led to decreased demand for our product across all our markets. COVID has also had a very real impact on our day-to-day operation and how we do business,” the statement reads.

Co-op also cited maintaining physical distancing measures in the workplace as another factor.

“This becomes all the more challenging should the full complement of our hourly employees return to work at this time, in this current environment,” the company stated.

“We must stress that these layoffs are temporary. They will only last for as long as the Government of Saskatchewan’s State of Emergency is in place, plus an additional two weeks.”

Word of the impending layoffs follows the end of a months-long, bitter labour dispute between Co-op and the union representing refinery workers, Unifor Local 594.

The dispute was officially brought to an end when a deal was ratified by union membership on June 22.