Manitoba Hydro is planning to issue temporary layoff notices to between 600 to 700 workers this week, a spokesperson for the crown corporation said Tuesday.
Bruce Owen, a spokesperson for Manitoba Hydro, said the temporary layoffs will last four months, and provide approximately $11 million workforce cost savings.
“As requested by the province, Manitoba Hydro has been reviewing its operations to find cost and labour savings to help support the government’s fight against COVID-19,” Owen said in an email.
“All layoffs will follow the provisions of the collective agreements with Manitoba Hydro’s bargaining units,” Owen said.
An email from the business manager of IBEW Local 2034 that was sent to to the union’s membership says the layoffs are the result of the Pallister government directive to come up with $86.4 million in cost savings before the end of the summer.
The union expects it will be mostly junior-level employees that will be impacted, said Mike Velie in the email to union members.
“This news of lay-offs is particularly disappointing when you consider that there has been no interruption or reduction of service to any of our customers, and this is inconsistent with any rationale for cutting jobs in areas of the province that have seen shortages in work,” Velie said in the email.