Palliser Furniture temporarily laying off workers, closing Winnipeg facility

Palliser Furniture Ltd. is temporarily laying off 72 per cent of its workforce as it closes its Winnipeg facility for two weeks and looks to do the same at its Mexican facilities in the coming weeks.

The company employs 3,000 people around the world including close to 700 in Winnipeg.

The layoffs come as the COVID-19 pandemic brings retail business to a standstill and demand for Palliser products and services plunges.

The company manufactures upholstered leather furniture in North America with operations in Canada, Mexico, Indonesia and China.

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In addition to its own products, Palliser is a supplier to a variety of furniture companies.

Palliser says it’s exploring workshare along with additional assistance programs for employees affected by the layoffs.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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