From the big leagues to tee ball, the coronavirus pandemic has brought baseball to a halt, along with virtually the entire sports world. Blaming financial harm from the virus-induced delays in play, the locally based equipment manufacturer, Rawlings, has laid off 130 employees at its Washington, Missouri, facility, in a move that it expects to be temporary.
That cut joins other layoffs by regional employers that were publicly announced Friday, adding to a national cascade of unemployment. Illinois, for instance, released a monthly summary of 195 “layoff events” in March, which affected 14,702 people. Most were in the Chicago area, but the list included actions taken in previous weeks by some St. Louis-area employers, such as Baily Foods and Collinsville's Gateway Convention Center.
Rawlings, the sporting goods giant, said that “postponement of baseball-related activities and resulting impact on production” led to the mass layoff at its Washington facility, about an hour west of St. Louis. The company notified state officials of the move in a letter sent last week, with the move taking effect last Friday.
Baily Foods, a cookie and cracker producer, temporarily laid off workers at two Metro East facilities, in Granite City and National City. It was not immediately clear how many employees were affected.
Layoffs are also expected to be temporary for the trade show organizers at the Gateway Convention Center in Collinsville. The organization said the move applied to 31 part-time employees. Six part-time workers and two fill-time employees continue to work at the convention center, with another 10 full-time staff members working remotely, from home.
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