Mass Public Works layoffs

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Allyson Beauregard

MUNICIPALITY OF PONTIAC – On August 31, all of the municipality’s twelve Public Works employees were informed in writing that they would be laid off as of September 6 at 4:30 pm.

Allyson Beauregard

MUNICIPALITY OF PONTIAC – On August 31, all of the municipality’s twelve Public Works employees were informed in writing that they would be laid off as of September 6 at 4:30 pm.
According to Benedikt Kuhn, the municipality’s director general, the mass layoff was done to address concerns regarding the quality and efficiency of work within the department and to eliminate avoidable costs. “In the last few weeks we have run into issues where work wasn’t done or it wasn’t done properly and had to be re-done or it wasn’t done in a timely manner. We also ran into some disciplinary issues, so we decided to issue a short stop to give us time to reorganize and so management can do their homework,” he said, emphasizing the layoffs are only
temporary.
“We can’t commit to a timeline, but as long as things run smoothly, it will be short term. We can’t see this dragging on for weeks,” he said, noting there is still a lot of work to be done before winter that will require manpower. 
According to Kuhn, the workers will be progressively called back to work in small groups and be given training and instructions. “We need to make sure things are done right the first time,” he stressed.
In the meantime, two workers will be kept on hand to ensure the continuity of services.