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Published July 03, 2010, 01:38 AM

Canadian Pacific cutting jobs in Sioux Falls

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Sioux Falls is losing almost 100 railroad-related jobs in the next nine months, a blow to a city that was the headquarters of the largest regional railroad in the country only three years ago.

Canadian Pacific Railway said it is restructuring staff and cutting its Sioux Falls work force of about 125 people. About 65 employees will be offered an opportunity to relocate within the CP system. About 30 positions will be eliminated.

"This is not a reflection on the DM&E," CP spokesman Mike LoVecchio said, referring to the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad, which CP bought in 2007. "It remains a critical component of CP. It is not a reflection on Sioux Falls and South Dakota. It is an office relocation."

LoVecchio said the affected workers do a range of management, financial and technical work.

Mayor Mike Huether and U.S. Sen. John Thune, who was South Dakota's railroad director in the early 1990s, said they were disappointed by CP's decision to dramatically scale back its presence in Sioux Falls.

"We work our tails off to try to find companies that employ people with good jobs and good benefits," Huether said. "To lose that is not good."

CP has 368 workers in South Dakota, including railroad crews and employees in operations centers in Huron and Rapid City. Those workers are not affected, LoVecchio said.

"In fact, we are hiring operations employees as our business grows outside of Sioux Falls," he said.

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