Palliser shutters factory
WINNIPEG – Palliser Furniture, this country largest upholstery manufacturer, has closed its production facilities here for at least the next two weeks as part of its response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the family-owned furniture resource noted the pandemic has resulted in what it described as “an unprecedented slow-down in retail business and demand for Palliser products and services.”
With the goal of continuing to operate as a strong and stable business, Palliser made the difficult decision to temporarily close its facilities here beginning yesterday (30 March 2020) for a period of two weeks. It will look at whether it will be necessary to implement a similar strategy for its Mexican facilities in the coming weeks. With this, the company has temporarily laid off 72% of its workforce.
“I am proud that we have created 3,000 jobs in our worldwide facilities, and we will not give up on any of these Palliser team members,” Palliser president and chief executive officer Peter Tielmann said, adding the company is actively exploring workshare and other assistance programs for employees impacted by these temporary layoffs.
With a workforce of some 700 members, Palliser is believed to be one of the largest employers not only in Winnipeg, but in the province of Manitoba as well. Its Winnipeg facility – which also serves as its corporate head office – produces upholstery primarily for the Canadian market as well as its high-end home entertainment/theatre seating line.
“Management has taken the threat of the pandemic on our people and our business with the utmost seriousness. The health and safety of our diverse Palliser team members and their families have been, and remains our top priority,” said Tielmann.
In addition to Winnipeg and Mexico, the company also has operations in Indonesia and China.
Palliser isn’t the only Canadian furniture maker to announce the temporary closure of its production facilities. Las week, Huppé, a manufacturer of contemporary case goods and upholstery based in Victoriaville, announced it will cease operations until 13 April 2020 in keeping with the directions given by the Government of Quebec.
Most furniture and mattress factories in both Quebec and Ontario are believed to be closed under orders from provincial governments as part of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
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