Moosehead layoffs postponed by at least 3 months

Moosehead Breweries Limited has postponed laying off about 70 staff in Saint John by at least three months, due to one of its contracts being extended.

Contract extension means temporary reprieve for about 70 staff at west Saint John brewery

About 70 Moosehead Breweries Limited workers have gotten a temporary reprieve from layoffs.

Andrew Oland, the president and chief executive officer of Moosehead Breweries, notified staff that layoffs planned for late June will not take place until at least late September. (CBC)
A contract extension by a "major customer" means the layoffs, slated for late June, will not take place until late September, "at the earliest," company spokeswoman Karen Cousins stated in an email to CBC News.

"Due to confidentiality agreements, we are unable to provide additional information on why the extension was made, however, all of us at Moosehead very much appreciate the support of the community and our suppliers as we work through this transition," she said.

Last October, the company announced it would be laying off about half of its hourly production staff at the west side brewery.

The jobs losses were a "direct result" of the loss of a major brewing and packaging contract with an international brewing company, president and chief executive officer Andrew Oland had said.

Oland notified the employees of the postponement last week, said Cousins.

"Although only an extension of three months, it was positive news felt by all Moosehead employees," she said.

Some of the workers losing their jobs have 21 years of full-time service, union officials have said.

The starting hourly wage of the affected positions is $29.

Some of the job cuts may come through scheduled retirements, but the exact number is still unclear.

Moosehead is working with the provincial government to provide support programs for those who will be laid off, including re-employment counselling, retraining, financial planning and job-search assistance.

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