Less than 10% of Westerner Park staff keep their jobs

Temporary layoffs hit 90% of workforce

  • Mar. 20, 2020 8:00 p.m.

Westerner Park has issued temporary layoff notices to more than 90 per cent of its staff because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision to make,” said chief executive officer Mike Olesen in a statement Friday.

“We know these measures are necessary, but still deeply impact our staff and their families. They have been very understanding, and we will work to support them in any way we can.”

More than 50 events have been postponed between March 10 and April 24 in compliance with provincial recommendations to prevent the spread of the virus.

Westerner Park speculates events beyond April 25 will also be affected.

“With no revenue currently coming into the non-profit organization, the temporary reduction was an important financial decision,” the attraction said its release.

“Westerner Park hopes that by taking these measures now, they can not only mitigate the spread of COVID-19, but also ensure the long-term viability for the organization.”

In January, Westerner Park laid off 14 full-time staff and about two dozen casual or part-time staffers, and the City of Red Deer assumed temporary financial oversight of the facility.

Until Friday, Westerner Park had employed about 60 full-time equivalent staff and another 150 on the casual and part-time payrolls.

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