Battening Down: Uni-Select lays off 50 percent of employees amid COVID-19

Boucherville, Quebec ⁠— While, as an essential service, Uni-Select may remain in operation, the company said it has laid off 50 percent of its employees and closed 33 percent of its sites as the company prepares to weather the storm.

The company also said a limited number of sites in Canada, the United States and United Kingdom remain in operation, though 28 percent of sites are on reduced hours and seven percent are operating with “very limited activities for the essential services.”

In addition, work hours have been reduced by 20 percent for all employees who remain at work to support current operations, and Uni-Select’s Board of Directors reduced its members’ remuneration by 25 percent effective from Jan. 1st, 2020 until June 30, 2020.

“The Corporation will continue to monitor announcements of governmental assistance programs in connection with the COVID-19 crisis, and will seek to benefit from such programs where applicable and appropriate,” the company said in a press release.

Uni-Select said it is actively managing its liquidity and will provide an update regarding the operational and financial impacts of COVID-19 during its first-quarter fiscal 2020 earnings call, to be held on May 14, 2020.

“Our first priority is always to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our 6,000 employees and customers and this is even more true during this crisis,” stated Brent Windom, President and Chief Executive Officer of Uni-Select. “As such, we have been strictly adhering to health authorities and government guidelines, with stringent protocols for social distancing and hygiene precautions, as well as telecommuting, whenever possible. 

“We have a responsibility to provide essential services during these difficult times, but we nonetheless expect demand to experience a marked slowdown given travel restrictions and stay at home guidelines,” he continued. “These are certainly exceptional times which command exceptional measures but the automotive aftermarket has been resilient in the past⁠—and we are convinced it won’t be any different this time.”

For more information on Uni-Select, click here.

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