Canadian Manufacturing

Bus maker NFI Group to idle a majority of its facilities, laying off some staff

The Winnipeg bus manufacturer is laying off about 300 people

March 23, 2020  The Canadian Press

New Flyer’s Xcelsior bus. New Flyer is a subsidiary of NFI Group. PHOTO: New Flyer

WINNIPEG — NFI Group Inc. says about 6,500 employees will be affected by idling a majority of its facilities for a two-week period starting March 30, if not sooner, as it works to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bus maker, which has 9,000 employees in 50 facilities across 10 countries, says during that period it will assess whether the idling period will need to be extended.

Employees impacted by idled facilities will have the option to use accrued vacation time or take unpaid leave with the company assisting them to access government support, NFI says.

NFI also says it’s laying off about 300 people as it expects the cancellation or deferral of many private customer orders for new and pre-owned coaches this year.

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The bus maker says the cuts will include both production and salaried positions and warns that additional actions may be required across the company.

NFI is also reducing temporarily reducing its quarterly dividend to 21.25 cents per share for the January-to-March period compared with its regular payment of 42.5 cents per share. It says future dividends will depend on prevailing circumstances and are not assured.