'We hoped to avoid this outcome as we worked hard to keep our business secure through the extreme challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic'
Irving Oil — a gasoline, oil, and natural gas producer and exporter — has laid off 250 of its workers, equivalent to six per cent of its workforce in Canada, the United States, Ireland and the U.K., the company announced.
“The challenges that we face in our business and our industry are unlike any we have ever experienced. Like many other organizations, we hoped to avoid this outcome as we worked hard to keep our business secure through the extreme challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the last decision we wanted to make and to all those impacted, we are sorry,” according to a joint statement from Ian Whitcomb, president of Irving Oil, and Sarah Irving, executive vice-president and chief brand officer, published on the company’s website.
“At this time, we are focused on supporting our employees during this transition and are very thankful for all they have contributed to our business,” the statement continued.
“In situations such as this one, the government’s role is to work closely with affected employees and direct them to support services in the region for career transitioning and employment counselling,” said Dorothy Shephard, social development minister, in a statement posted on the New Brunswick website.
WorkingNB has reached out to the company and will be coordinating efforts with them to support and work with the affected employees. In addition, Opportunities NB will support WorkingNB staff to connect impacted employees with employers who are looking for their skill set, said Shephard.
Also, Trevor Holder, minister of post-secondary education, training and labour has recused himself from the file due to a close family member’s involvement.
In April, New Brunswick announced it is providing better support for health-care workers and agri-businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.