A ”cash flow crisis” is being blamed for the sudden closure of Goodwill stores in the GTA this past weekend.
The CEO of Goodwill Industries of Toronto, Keiko Nakamura addressed the media on Monday afternoon saying that 16 stores, 10 donation centres and two offices in Toronto, Eastern, Central and Northern Ontario are to remain closed until further notice as she is examines all possible solutions to the crisis.
More than 430 employees are now without work as a result, having arrived to work on Sunday morning, only to find that they had been locked out.
During the press conference, Nakamura recognised that ”all this has all happened very suddenly and for those involved unfortunately that is the situation we are facing.”
She also issued an apology to customers and employees affected by the shutdown, but referred to the situation as ”unavoidable.”
Nakamura says Goodwill had moved to cut costs by reducing overhead and also cut staff hours, describing it as a “very low margin operation” that was facing increasing competition.
The Canadian Airport Workers Union, which represents the affected workers also issued a statement on Monday, described the loss of jobs as ‘devastating’, while also issuing an appeal for help in getting the charity stores back up and running saying that ”Goodwill stores also help a lot of low-income people with community programming and affordable shopping.”
Nakamura says she has already met with union leaders to assure them that the company is working with stakeholders and various levels of government to find a solution.
Stores in London, Sarnia, St. Catharines and Hamilton will not be affected.