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Coronavirus: Oilers Entertainment Group announces 139 temporary layoffs and pay cuts

Click to play video 'Edmonton Oilers address unprecedented impact of coronavirus pandemic on NHL operations' Edmonton Oilers address unprecedented impact of coronavirus pandemic on NHL operations
Tom Anselmi, chief operating officer and president of business operations with the Edmonton Oilers, speaks about the "unprecedented" business impact of the NHL season being put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Oilers Entertainment Group announced Monday it temporarily laid off 139 employees and will roll back wages for all remaining staff working from home.

The changes, which were made because of the impacts of the novel coronavirus, will take effect April 13.

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers react to NHL season being ‘paused’ over coronavirus pandemic

The OEG said the decision was necessary because of the NHL and AHL seasons being paused, the WHL season being cancelled and all shows and events at Rogers Place being postponed to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect fans and employees.

On March 24, the group’s senior hockey and business executives decided to voluntarily forgo between 50 and 100 per cent of their compensation to help sustain the business, the OEG said in Monday’s news release.

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READ MORE: Edmonton lays off over 2,000 staff at city rec centres, public libraries due to COVID-19

The OEG said it created employee assistance funding that, combined with government programs, will give non-executive workers — whether temporarily laid off or working from home — as much as 75 to 90 per cent of their salary.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: CFL and Edmonton Eskimos join rest of paused sports world

“Like so many other businesses in the sports, entertainment and hospitality industry, we are implementing these measures in the face of an unprecedented challenge and rapidly evolving landscape,” said OEG business president Tom Anselmi.

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“These actions are difficult but necessary to respond to the reality of an effective shutdown of our business. In spite of this, we remain committed to doing all that we can for our employees.

“We are protecting the livelihood of our employees as best we can and are committed to getting them back to work as soon as possible.”

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