Oilers, Flames, Announce Staff Reductions

By Ben Hamill - April 05 2020
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Oilers, Flames, Announce Staff Reductions

We’re living in unprecedented times indeed. The financial strain caused by the human coronavirus is taking its toll on industries all over the world and it certainly does feel as if no industry has been spared. The sports industry is without a doubt one of those hardest hit of all, with everything from the Olympic Games to Wimbledon officially called off, something that hasn’t happened since world war 2.

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The Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames announced on Monday that temporary staff reductions would have to be implemented in order to off-set major financial losses due to large-scale postponements and cancellations of events. This will involve parent company Calgary Sports and Entertainment (CSEC) temporarily laying off at least 150 full-time members of staff, which figure according to the company, translates to more than half of its entire staff profile.

More Pay Means More Paying

The company on Monday informed the affected staff members of the layoffs scheduled to become effective on April 13, or in other words, two weeks official notice. Remaining staff members won’t come away unscathed either. Salary reductions of between 10 and 25 per cent will be implemented across the board, irrespective of position or seniority.

The CSEC has in fact said that those who earn the most will also have to forfeit the most, salary wise. The rate of salary reductions implemented by the company will rise proportionally aligned with the levels of those salaries, which means that those in executive management positions will receive the higher percentage rollbacks than the remainder of the task force.

Executives Have A Part To Play

Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG), parent company to the Oilers as well as to Western Hockey League’s Oil Kings, has in the meantime created a form of employee assistance funding in an attempt to help its staff survive a temporary reduction of some 139 employees – also effective April 13.

Government programs will make it possible for OEG staff to be paid anywhere between 75 and 90 per cent of their usual salaries. Oilers’ senior executives last week in an unprecedented but highly admirable move announced that they would be willing to forgo up anywhere between 50 and 100 per cent of their remuneration in order to help fund those in more conservatively paid positions for the duration of the coronavirus global crisis. It’s generally accepted that executive members have a much more extensive financial cushion to fall back on to soften the blow than what do those with smaller margins of disposable income.

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