Sudbury

Sudbury company working to help its workers with ties to Ukraine

An international recruiting firm based in Sudbury is working to help employees it has currently based in Ukraine.

One of the owners of the IVEY Group said they're helping Ukrainian employees in Canada and abroad

People wait to board an evacuation train from Kyiv to Lviv at Kyiv central train station following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. A Sudbury group that recruits international workers is helping employees with ties to the Ukraine. (Umit Bektas/Reuters)

An international recruiting firm based in Sudbury is working to help employees it has in Ukraine.

That country is currently under invasion by Russia, after President Vladimir Putin launched a special military operation. It's prompted condemnation by many world leaders and many sanctions have been issued against Russia.

Antonio Lopez is one of the owners of the IVEY Group, an international recruitment company that brings skilled workers to Canada. Lopez said his company works with 12 different countries, including Ukraine.

Lopez said the firm has three employees living in Ukraine.

"The situation is quite complex," he said.

One IVEY worker used to be a member of the military in Ukraine. 

"He had to be called back to the army," Lopez said. "Right now, I believe he's fighting in Kyiv."

Another employee is trapped in Kyiv due to the ongoing invasion. Lopez said two other workers have relocated to western Ukraine near the border of Poland.

Antonio Lopez is one of the owners of the international recruitment firm, IVEY Group, based in Sudbury. (Youtube/Ivey Group)

"We do have people on the ground there and we're trying to get them out of there as soon as we can," he said.

IVEY Group also has recruited workers to Canada who are from Ukraine. Lopez said some are going back to fight, while others are choosing to stay in Canada.

"They are under a lot of stress," he said. "They're waiting for news. It's quite stressful, quite worrisome."

Lopez said the impact on the business itself can be managed.

"But I think the more important part is the personal side," he said.

"It really affects us as a team. It really affects me as a person."

Lopez said the company is planning to start a GoFundMe campaign to collect donations to help the affected workers in Ukraine to immigrate to Canada.

The Canadian government has supports in place to help Canadians leave Ukraine.

"If you are in Ukraine, you should shelter in place unless you are able to leave the country safely," the government said.

The government has also announced assistance for Ukrainians in and outside Canada, including new immigration measures such as "urgent and priority processing of documents and applications."

With files from Angela Gemmill

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