Canucks terminate one-quarter of trade personnel, extra COVID-19 …


Unless a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19 is found in the coming months, it’s likely more staff will be let go

With little chance of the Vancouver Canucks playing games in front of fans at Rogers Arena in the near future, the NHL team is reducing its full-time business operations staff.

The Canucks, trying to stickhandle around the COVID-19 pandemic, gave written termination notice — permanent, as opposed to a temporary layoff — to 49 people Wednesday, which works out to about one-quarter of the roughly 200 people employed with the business operations staff.

About Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks are a professional ice hockey team based in Vancouver. They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference. The Canucks play their home games at Rogers Arena, formerly known as General Motors Place, which has an official capacity of 18,910. Travis Green is the head coach and Jim Benning is the general manager.
The Canucks joined the league in 1970 as an expansion team along with the Buffalo Sabres. In its NHL history, the team has advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals three times, losing to the New York Islanders in 1982, the New York Rangers in 1994 and the Boston Bruins in 2011. They have won the Presidents’ Trophy in back-to-back seasons as the team with the league’s best regular season record in the 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons. They won three division titles as a member of the Smythe Division from 1974 to 1993, and seven titles as a member of the Northwest Division from 1998 to 2013. The Canucks, along with fellow expansion team, the Buffalo Sabres, are the two oldest teams to have never won the Stanley Cup.The Canucks have retired six players’ jerseys in their history—Pavel Bure (10), Stan Smyl (12), Trevor Linden (16), Markus Naslund (19), Daniel Sedin (22) and Henrik Sedin (33); all but Bure and Daniel Sedin have served as team captain. Smyl has the distinction of being the only Canuck to have his jersey number retired at their former arena, the Pacific Coliseum.

Canucks terminate one-quarter of business staff, more COVID-19 …

About terminate
Terminate may refer to:

Electrical termination, ending a wire or cable properly to prevent interference
Termination of employment, the end of an employee’s duration with an employer
Terminate with extreme prejudice, a euphemism for assassination
Terminate and Stay Resident, utility programs used in DOS
exit (system call), to terminate the execution of a running software program
Terminate (software) – (terminat.exe), a shareware modem terminal and host program for MS-DOS in the 1990s

Only laying off 49 people at this time means this does not qualify as a group termination under the terms of the Employment Standards Act. That means, for instance, if the Canucks were to layoff 50 people at once — or in a two-month period — they’d have to give those employees eight weeks notice.

Instead, Wednesday’s terminations will follow whatever an employee’s contract call for in terms of notice and severance.

Canucks terminate one-quarter of business staff, more COVID-19 …

For the most part, business operations staff fill roles that deal directly with fans, working at or around Canucks’ games and concerts at the arena.

Hockey operations personnel remain unaffected, though like all Canucks Sports and Entertainment employees, most have been working at 65 per cent of their usual salaries for several months now.

“Canucks Sports and Entertainment continues to be greatly impacted by COVID-19 due to the significant impacts to revenues in our business,” CSE chief operating office Trent Carroll said in a statement, the same day the Canucks were set to play the Winnipeg Jets in Edmonton in an exhibition test before the playoffs get rolling on the weekend.

“Like many companies during this pandemic, we have unfortunately been faced with the difficult decision to reduce our business ops workforce through layoffs. These are incredibly challenging days for everyone involved.

“These are our friends and colleagues and we will do everything we possibly can to support them through this period. At the same time, we will also ensure we are ready to start up when we get back to normal operations again at Rogers Arena. We hope to call back as many of our employees as possible when that time comes.”

It’s likely the Canucks will add to the layoff numbers in the future if operations are not able to return to normal. The NHL is hoping to start the 2020-21 regular season in early December, so if the team isn’t allowed to have fans in the stands, it’s likely a large portion of their current business operations staff will be let go.

Current provincial health restrictions don’t allow for more than 50 people to gather at an event and it’s not likely this policy will change before a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19 is discovered.

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