Big White (File photo).

Big White (File photo).

Hundreds of Big White employees lose jobs due to COVID-19

Resort said some employees have already found other jobs in tourism sector

Big White has terminated hundreds of seasonal contracts early for its employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the majority of employees were scheduled to work until at least April, a recent decision by the resort to shutdown its operations for the rest of the season has left many of them scrambling to get home or find other jobs.

Big White Ski Resort senior vice president Michael Balingall said some of the seasonal staff who want to stay in Canada have already found other employment arrangements.

“Many of our staff have left early to work at other Okanagan wineries and golf courses,” said Balingall.

“Some of the staff have also been forced to take a bit of a holiday and stay in Canada. This is a bit tough for everybody.”

Balingall said transporting some of the staff off the mountain has also been a bit of a challenge.

“We are at the mercy of the airlines. Some of our staff can’t even get out of here until the end of the week,” said Balingall.

“However, we are still remaining hospitable to the remaining guests on the mountain.”

Between 40 to 50 employees have been leaving Big White daily for the past week due to COVID-19, which Balingall said has created some labour shortages at the resort.

Balingall said many employees will also have to go into self-isolation when they return home due to the virus.

“There is not one employee in our system that can’t travel because their country isn’t allowing them in,” said Balingall.

“However, the majority of our employees going to Australia and the U.K know they will have to self-quarantine when they get home for 14 days.”

Balingall estimates at this time (March 18) there are around 400 people remaining up at Big White.

For more information on all the closures at Big White, you can visit the resort’s website.


@connortrembley
connor.trembley@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two cyclists traverse a closed Bernard Avenue in downtown Kelowna on June 29, 2020. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Kelowna recognized as bike-friendly city

City earns bronze in nationwide Bicycle Friendly Communities award program

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Lakeside Medicine Centre Pharmacy in Kelowna on Sunday, May 2, 2021. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
Almost 9K more COVID-19 vaccinations administered in Central Okanagan within a week

Close to 70,000 Central Okanagan residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine

Quails’ Gate wine bottles. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media file)
West Kelowna winery Quails’ Gate named as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies

This is the fifth consecutive year that the winery has received the national honour

The Kelowna Rockets suffered their second-straight loss on May 4, falling 2-1 to the Prince George Cougars. (Contributed)
Kelowna Rockets drop second-straight to Prince George Cougars

The Rockets were shut down in all five powerplay attempts

Mount Boucherie Secondary School. (Black Press Media file)
COVID-19 exposure identified at West Kelowna high school

Interior Health confirms COVID-19 exposure at Mount Boucherie Secondary School

FILE – Pharmacist Barbara Violo shows off a vile of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Friday, March 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Looking for the nearest COVID shot? Tech entrepreneur creates texting software in B.C

Zain Manji says app took just one or two hours to create

Mary Kitagawa was born on Salt Spring Island and was seven years old when she was interned along with 22,000 B.C. residents in 1942. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds health services for survivors of Japanese internment

Seniors describe legacy of World War II displacement

Meghan Gilley, a 35-year-old emergency room doctor and new mom was vaccinated from COVID-19 in January, while she was pregnant. She’s encouraging others to do the same. (Submitted)
‘The best decision’: B.C. mom encourages other pregnant women to get COVID-19 shot

Meghan Gilley, 35, delivered a healthy baby after being vaccinated against the virus while pregnant

(File photo)
Ex Okanagan man’s escorted-leave ‘beyond disappointing’: murder victim’s mother

Shane Ertmoed was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2000 death of 10-year-old Heather Thomas

Former Vernon Panthers football standout Ben Hladik of the UBC Thunderbirds (top, in a game against the Manitoba Bisons, making one of his 38 Canada West solo tackles in 2019), was chosen by the in Tuesday’s 2021 Canadian Football League draft. (Rich Lam - UBC Thunderbirds photo)
B.C. Lions call on Vernon standout in CFL draft

Canadian Football League club selects former VSS Panthers star Ben Hladik in third round of league draft

Growlers of Penticton’s finest craft beer are displayed on Okanagan Lake beach where they can now be consumed legally. (Ale Trail photo)
Booze on beaches is underway in Penticton

As of May 1 to October, you can bring alcohol to designated beaches and parks

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
South Okanagan RCMP launch search after pellet gun allegedly fired near woman

A witness overheard what sounded like an air gun being discharged and something hit the water

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after B.C. river could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

Most Read