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Massive layoffs at SRI Homes

More than 100 workers have been given layoff notices at a company that builds factory homes in the Okanagan.

Employees at SRI Homes in Winfield were given a week's notice at the end of their shift on Tuesday, stating they will be laid off on April 15.

General manager Jim Stevenson explains that construction layoffs are quite common, while remarking that it’s strange this didn’t happen sooner.

“Typically we have seasonal adjustments in our workforce, and we’ve been able to keep busy all winter, which is highly unusual,” he says.

“We’re just waiting for winter to leave most of BC, so the market improves.”

The entire production workforce at SRI Homes was given the layoff notice, which means 140 employees could soon be looking for work elsewhere. That is in addition to another 50 employees who were laid off in January.

“Under our collective agreement I have to give them seven days notice if I anticipate a layoff of more than seven days. We’re managing to keep in production and whether we actually have a layoff remains to be seen. But (workers) are duly notified under the collective agreement."

Stevenson maintains there is no fear mongering taking place or any larger issue at hand, and points out that the layoffs are just a notice at this time and things could change by next week.

“We’re in construction, and construction is either feast or famine. It’s purely a seasonal thing and something that, if there is any interruption, won’t be long.”

Workers at the plant are concerned because there is no back to work date, something they say was usually given to them in the past when these types of layoffs took place. 

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