Auto Service World
News   April 1, 2020   by Allan Janssen

Uni-Select furloughs half of its employees

Uni-Select Inc. has furloughed approximately half of its employees in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Faced with a marked slowdown in demand, the company has also temporarily closed a third of its facilities. A further 28% of its sites are operating on reduced hours, and 7% are operating with very limited activities.

In addition, work hours have been reduced by 20% for all employees who remain at work to support current operations. Members of the company’s board of directors have reduced their remuneration by 25% back-dated to Jan. 1, 2020 and continuing to June 30, 2020.

In a public update on its response to the ongoing Covid-19 global pandemic, the company said its first priority is to ensure the health and safety of its customers and its 6,000 employees.

“This is even more true during this crisis,” said president and CEO Brent Windom.

He said the company has been strictly adhering to health authorities and government guidelines, with stringent protocols for social distancing and hygiene precautions. It is telecommuting, whenever possible.

Uni-Select said it is taking actions to contribute to the continued mobility of fellow citizens and organisations, especially those who provide essential services.

“We are working closely with customers to meet their changing needs and have taken prudent action to ensure business continuity and reorganize operations promptly,” the release said.

The Corporation will continue to monitor announcements of governmental assistance programs in connection with the COVID-19 crisis, and will seek to benefit from such programs where applicable and appropriate.

Uni-Select is actively managing its liquidity and will provide an update regarding the operational and financial impacts of COVID-19 during its first quarter fiscal 2020 earnings call, to be held on May 14, 2020.

Despite the uncertain present situation, Windom struck a positive note about the future.

“The automotive aftermarket has been resilient in the past and we are convinced it won’t be any different this time,” he said.

In Canada, Uni-Select supports over 16,000 automotive repair and collision repair shops and more than 4,000 shops through its automotive repair/installer shop banners and automotive refinish banners. Its national network includes over 1,000 independent customer locations and more than 75 company-owned stores, many of which operate under the Uni-Select Bumper To Bumper, Auto Parts Plus and FinishMaster store banner programs.

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