London

City of London cuts 800 jobs as COVID-19 keeps programs shut down

As the City of London continues to deal with the fallout from the spread of COVID-19, around 1,100 temporary and casual employees are left wondering about the future of their jobs.

About 300 seasonal workers have been told their start dates have been deferred

Staff will report back later in the year on the process of creating an active transportation manager position at London city hall. (Travis Dolynny/CBC)

As the City of London continues to deal with the fallout from the spread of COVID-19, around 1,100 temporary and casual employees are left wondering about the future of their jobs.

City officials announced Monday that about 800 casual workers have been placed on an unpaid emergency leave.

The decision was made as recreational programs have been cancelled and indoor and outdoor recreational facilities are closed.

Lynne Livingstone is the city manager for the City of London. (Rebecca Zandbergen/CBC)

"This is a difficult decision, but in these times, it's the right decision," said Lynne Livingstone, the city manager.

"This is typically when we are welcoming our seasonal staff to roles across the City, and they are an important part of our organization. Unfortunately, while we're at minimal operations and delivering essential services only, we have no choice but to delay start dates and move to temporary leaves."

In addition, about 300 seasonal staff have been told that their start dates will be deferred.

The job cuts include:

  • Community centre staff.
  • Staff who support recreation, sports programs and neighbourhood activities.
  • Aquatics staff members.
  • Parks maintenance workers
  • Golf course employees.
  • Seasonal staff in service areas that include roads, water and sewers, and facilities.

The city has not said when they expect to bring back the programs and reopen facilities.

Affected employees may be able to seek financial assistance through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or employment insurance.

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