AEG To Lay Off 900 Rose Quarter Employees; Blazers Expect "Vast Majority" To Be Re-Hired

AEG will lay off 900 employees at the Rose Quarter as the company's contract with the Portland Trail Blazers is set to expire. The Blazers expect a "vast majority" of the employees to be re-hired.

Last week, the Portland Trail Blazers announced that they would not renew their contract with AEG to operate the Rose Garden when it expires in June. The Blazers instead plan to self-operate the Rose Garden and have signed on with Levy Restaurants to handle their food and beverage services.

In a letter dated April 30 and sent by Marla Gibson, AEG's Director of Human Resources, the company notified the state of Oregon that 900 employees are expected to be laid off as a result of the contract between the Blazers and AEG expiring.

The expected date of the first separation is June 30, 2013. The number of employees that are expected to be laid off will be approximately 900.

Some of the affected employees are represented by a union. There will not be any bumping rights for the affected employees.

All affected employees at the facility have been notified that their separation from employment will be permanent and will be notified of their individual separation dates.

Gibson's letter is part of Oregon's Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN).

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) protects workers, their families, and communities by requiring most employers with 100 or more employees to provide notification 60 calendar days in advance of plant closings and mass layoffs.

Employee entitled to notice under WARN include managers and supervisors, as well as hourly and salaried workers. WARN requires that notice also be given to employees' representatives, the local chief elected official, and the state dislocated worker unit.

The Blazers issued a statement on AEG's letter on Monday.

"It is our understanding that AEG believed it legally necessary to issue the WARN notifications, including standard language covering transitions of this magnitude. Being an AEG communication, it naturally does not mention our plan of integration. As part of our self-operation of the Rose Garden and Rose Quarter, we expect many of the affected employees will have opportunities for continued employment."

A Blazers spokesperson strengthened that sentiment, telling Blazersedge that a "vast majority" of the 900 employees would be re-hired as the Blazers pursue their cost-cutting plans for self-operating the arena. The spokesperson expects the staffing issues to be settled in advance of the 2013-14 preseason but noted that there are events at the Rose Quarter all summer long that require staffing, meaning some of the affected employees will not be kept waiting that long, if at all.

Big thanks to Andrew F. for the heads up on the WARN letter.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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