baseball

Phillies Don’t Plan Worker Layoffs for Next 5 Months, Owner Says

Three weeks after informing full-time employees that their jobs were safe through May, Phillies ownership stepped up again on Friday and ensured employees' jobs through October.

"The Buck and Middleton families have decided that there will be no furloughs or layoffs due to the coronavirus crisis through the end of our fiscal year (October 31, 2020) for regular full-time employees," managing partner John Middleton wrote in a letter emailed to employees and obtained by NBC Sports Philadelphia. 

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"While we will likely need to implement other cost-cutting alternatives in the interim to deal with our extraordinary loss of revenue, including possible salary reductions, you can be assured of your job and health insurance for the next five-plus months."

From the front office to the field, from Philadelphia to Clearwater, Florida to the Dominican Republic, the Phillies have more than 350 full-time employees.

Last month, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred suspended uniform employee contracts. The move gave teams the right to furlough or lay off some front office personnel as well as field personnel such as managers, coaches and scouts. The Phillies will not do any of that.

In his April 17 letter to employees, Middleton expressed confidence that baseball would be played at some point in 2020. He expressed further confidence in Friday's correspondence.

"Today, I am even more optimistic about that," Middleton wrote. "The caveat, of course, is that our games may be played in empty ballparks or with far fewer fans than normal. Playing in empty ballparks will test the financial viability of our franchise and the other 29 teams, but our industry is determined to make it work, and I am confident that we will find a way."

Middleton urged employees to remain flexible because of the uncertainty caused by the health crisis and he thanked them for how they have responded during the eight-week shutdown.

"You have successfully transitioned to working remotely, you have given back to the community, you have engaged with our fans, you have partnered with our sponsors and you have prepared for a virtual draft," he wrote. "Above all else, you have supported each other. These are the kinds of actions and behaviors that make me honored to call you my colleagues and to be part of your team. Together we will get through this, not without pain, but ultimately as a better organization and as better people."

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