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CAN (NB): Producer temporarily lays off 45% of its workforce

Organigram Holdings has temporarily laid off of approximately 45 per cent of its workforce primarily to help boost COVID-19 containment efforts representing approximately 400 employees.

“These are unprecedented and trying times,” says Greg Engel, CEO, Organigram. “Our priority right now is to make sound strategic decisions that are in the best interests of our people and which will contribute to the long-term sustainability of the Company.”

Corporate Action Plan
"As a Canadian business, employer and member of the Moncton and New Brunswick communities, Organigram has been focused on proactive strategies to protect the health and safety of its workers as well as maintain the continuity of its business," the team with the company explains. "Organigram remains committed to following the direction of the Province of New Brunswick under the current state of emergency."

"The Company has offered voluntary layoffs to certain staff and those that accepted made up the majority of the layoffs. In some cases, due to the impacts of COVID-19, some administrative, support and other functions were deemed non-essential to the short-term needs of the business. The temporary layoffs were initiated on March 24, 2020 and the Company will continuously monitor the evolving situation."

"Lump-sum payments will be paid to the affected employees to help bridge the gap to available government programs. In addition, the Company will absorb the employee paid portion of health, dental and short-term disability premiums for all employees during this difficult time."

The Company plans to maintain an experienced group of employees at its Moncton facility with skills flexible enough to work on various production and packaging lines to help fulfill the provincial demand levels.

"During this temporary period, Organigram expects to be faced with cultivation, harvest, production and packaging reductions but will also plan to supplement with inventories on hand to meet anticipated demand. Specifically, the Company will be focused on leveraging automated and the most efficient lines of production and will deprioritize lower value products requiring higher manual labour."

"The Company believes it has sufficient inventory levels to supplement reduced harvest plans and enough contingency staff to keep packaging capacity intact in order to meet anticipated demand for the short term. The Company also remains comfortable with its current inventory levels from external suppliers (e.g. vaporizer products, packaging materials) and has not experienced any significant disruptions to date," they conclude. 

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