Cavendish Farms is eliminating nearly two dozen positions at its New Annan, P.E.I. plant, the company announced.

The announcement follows a layoff of 60 people in November. Craig Walsh of the United Food and Commercial Workers said the people left behind are going to have to work a lot harder.

Craig Walsh - custom

United Food and Commercial Workers (CBC)

"The same volume of work has got to be done. The people left behind are just going to have to do it," said Walsh.

"It's not a pleasant set up. But that's the way that the company has chosen to go forward,"

In a statement, company vice president Ron Clow said the layoffs were necessary in order to stay competitive with increased potato production in North America and Europe.

"We have identified a further need to improve efficiencies and reduce costs," said Clow.

"This means reducing our team on the Island by 20 hourly employees and 3 staff positions."

Walsh said the layoffs are not just difficult for the workers, but will hurt the local communities of Summerside and Kensington as well.

"Anywhere from 700 to 800 thousand dollars out of the local economy," he said.

"Twenty positions at 15 to 18 dollars an hour, not including benefits and overtime. It's a significant hit."

The company is providing severance packages, and has given hourly workers the option to be put on a recall list.