New Flyer to permanently lay off approximately 300 Winnipeg staff as company feels brunt of COVID-19

By | March 24, 2020

Bus manufacturer New Flyer says it will permanently lay off nearly 300 Winnipeg staff members as is struggles to cope with the COVID-19 crisis.

The Winnipeg-based company made the announcement in an update to investors Monday. 

The company employs more than 9,300 people in 50 different facilities in 10 different countries. Approximately 6,900 are in North America and 2,700 are in Manitoba.

New Flyer joins a growing list of Winnipeg employers who have had to layoff staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

​The company is also planning a two-week idle period for the majority of its facilities that will impact about 6,500 employees starting next Monday or sooner.

​During the period, employees will be asked to take vacation time or go on unpaid leave. ​The company’s director of marketing Lindy Norris said it wasn’t known Tuesday how many employees would utilize their accrued vacation time.

She said some employees will continue to work because the company supports an essential transit service providing buses, parts, service, and support to transit operators around the world.

“It is extremely painful to impact people’s lives and livelihood and I assure you that we have not taken any decision lightly and that they have all been made in the context of balancing the interests of our stakeholders,” New Flyer CEO Paul Soubry said in a statement to investors Monday.

“We have built this Company with great people, and I am confident we can and will successfully navigate through this crisis.”

New Flyer said about 40 per cent of its customers are public transit agencies or commercial operators providing public services. 

The company said with the significant drop in private motor coach operations in North America due to the pandemic, it expects the cancellation or deferral of many private customer orders. 

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