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Coronavirus pandemic forces Kitchener to lay off 842 employees

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With most Kitchener facilities being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the City says it has laid off 842 temporary, casual and part-time workers.

The city says that another 82 temporary hires were unable to start seasonal jobs as well.

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“The residents and businesses in the City of Kitchener are being profoundly impacted by the spread of COVID-19 in our community and beyond. Like others, our organization is not immune to those challenges either,” a statement issued to Global News reads.

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Kitchener says that in addition to the lack of work for the affected staff, it was forced to make the moves because of financial implications.

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“We are providing all of these affected employees with the support they need to apply for the federal government’s new Canada Emergency Response Benefit,” the city said.

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Region of Waterloo CAO Mike Murray said Friday that the region is also currently reviewing options with regards to potential layoffs.

“We’re working through trying to find the right balance between treating our employees fairly, compassionately, empathetically, because they’re going through a challenging time and yet doing that in a way that’s kind of financially responsible and responsible to regional taxpayers,” he said.

The City of Guelph also laid off 601 employees last week in response to the coronavirus pandemic.