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City lays off one third of workforce

Layoffs will impact nearly 800 workers, most of whom are part-time or casual.
The City of Thunder Bay is laying off nearly 800 employees due to COVID-19. (File photo)

THUNDER BAY – About one third of Thunder Bay’s municipal workforce will be laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The city made the announcement in a release Friday, calling it a “temporary reduction.”

The layoffs will affect nearly 800 workers, including 170 full-time employees whose duties do not allow them to work from home, and 620 part-time, casual, or temporary employees who do not have work to do since the city closed many facilities and programs in response to the pandemic.

In full operation, the city has about 2,300 employees, with about 1,300 employed full-time.

Impacted areas include recreation, child care, crossing guard services, and some clerical and outside services.

City council was advised of the layoffs in a meeting Thursday, which was closed to the public.

The city says it has communicated with union leaders, and will be following up with employees over the next week.

“This is regrettable but necessary,” said city manager Norm Gale. “While their work has been deemed non-essential at this time, these employees are valued and provide dedicated service to the people of Thunder Bay… I look forward to the day we are able to bring our employees back to reopen our facilities, programs, and services.”


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