Groupe CH, which owns the Montreal Canadiens, announced Tuesday that it will temporarily lay off 60 per cent of its employees while the NHL season is suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement released on the Canadiens' official website, Groupe CH said the layoffs will take effect next Monday and are necessary given the significant impact the pandemic has had on the sports and entertainment industries.
Groupe CH said it has set up a $6million assistance fund that will help enhance employment insurance benefits for eight weeks and ensure employees receive 80 per cent of their base salary. The fund will also be made available to provide loans to employees who find themselves in difficult financial situations.
"Now more than ever, it is important to support our community and demonstrate our solidarity to one another," Groupe CH owner, president and CEO Geoff Molson said.
"We are working extremely hard to limit the impact this situation will have on our employees. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our employees for their understanding and patience.
"During difficult times like these, our commitment to one another will help us rebound faster."