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WHITEHALL — Hi-Crush announced plans Monday to halt production at its frac-sand operation in Whitehall, idling 35 to 40 workers at least through the end of the year.

The company cites decreasing profitability for shipping sand.

“The layoff is necessitated by unforeseeable business circumstances associated with decreased profitability in shipping sand from the company’s CN plants and the company’s responsibilities to its shareholders to operate cost effectively,” Hi-Crush announced in a statement to state and local officials.

“Accordingly, the company has no choice but to halt production at its Whitehall plant. We are hopeful that the layoff is temporary but the duration is presently unknown. The company does not anticipate a change in conditions in the foreseeable future and expects the layoff to last through at least the end of 2019.”

The company previously announced layoffs of about 15 employees on Aug. 30 and 20 to 25 employees on Sept. 6.

The facility is located at W20757 Hwy. Q.

Most of the employees are hourly workers, and the company said there will be no employee bumping rights. The company said it will ensure that employees will be paid all earned wages at the time of layoff.

The state Department of Workforce Development and its Dislocated Worker Program will provide assistance for workers.

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