Chesterton Tribune



Memorial Opera and Expo workers furloughed

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All employees--except for the directors--of the Memorial Opera House and the Porter County Expo Center have been furloughed until further notice, the Porter County Commissioners are announcing.

The furlough includes five full-time and eight part-time employees.

“This was a heart-breaking decision,” Commissioner Laura Blaney, D-South, said in a statement released on Sunday. “These outstanding employees are the ones who have worked so hard to make the Opera House and Expo so successful.”

The county’s Human Resources Department is assisting the impacted employees in filing for unemployment benefits. The full-time employees will be able to maintain their health insurance by paying their share of the premiums and the county will work with them to make payment arrangements.

“As self-supporting venues, the Opera House and Expo Center rely on the revenues they generate to pay salaries and expenses,” the statement said. “The Opera House has had to postpone two of its major musical productions and Expo has cancelled all events at least through the end of May. The decision of when the employees can return to work will be re-evaluated monthly by the Board of Commissioners.”

“It’s not a matter of if they will return but rather when,” Blaney said. “These are very uncertain times and we had to make this difficult decision to assure that the Opera House and Expo will be financially solvent and ready to open their doors when it is safe to do so.”


Posted 5/4/2020




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