The Co-op Refinery Complex in Regina says it expects to lay off 54 unionized employees over the next six months.
In a news release, Co-op says it's preparing to transition to a low-carbon economy and that there is a need to reduce the workforce to ensure the refinery's long-term sustainability.
"We have looked at everything," Co-op spokesperson Brad DeLorey told CBC News.
"We have looked at cost-cutting measures. We are currently taking a look at a re-org in our management people. So everything has been on the table."
The president of the union local representing refinery workers Unifor Local 594 says he doesn't see how the company needs to eliminate 54 jobs to survive.
Unifor Local 594's Nathan Kraemer argues the savings could be found elsewhere without resorting to layoffs.
"I just don't agree, I think that's kind of ridiculous," he said.
"That's a drop in the bucket for what it costs to operate a refinery, of all the other places you could make the savings of what 50 employees amounts to to them."
The company says under the collective agreement there will be a bumping process based on seniority and qualifications. Permanent layoff notices will be given out at the end of that process, which is expected to take six months.
The refinery complex is one of city's largest private-sector employers and currently has about 1,000 employees.