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SANTA CRUZ — Massive furloughs and temporary shutdowns have jolted the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and some affiliated operations, an unsettling new reminder of the economic woes unleashed by the coronavirus.

The furloughs and shutdowns were undertaken by Santa Cruz Seaside Co., which operates the boardwalk and several other businesses in the coastal town, according to an official notice filed with the state’s labor agency.

“We expect the closure to be temporary as a result of COVID-19,” Sabra Reyes, director of human resources for Santa Cruz Seaside, stated in a letter this week to the Employment Development Department.

Nearly 1,100 workers are affected by the layoffs and furloughs, which Santa Cruz Seaside described as “temporary.”

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Carousel Inn, Sea and Sand Inn, Boardwalk Bowl, and Harbor Inn are affected by the shutdowns.

A widening number of businesses have suspended operations in the wake of numerous shutdowns imposed by state and local government officials in a battle to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Santa Cruz Seaside said dozens of job categories were affected by the staffing changes, according to a notice received on May 12 by the EDD.

Among the 1,097 jobs affected, major employee categories included arcade games and attractions operators, 163 positions; foodservice staffers, 144; and ride operators, 105.

“We do not intend to permanently separate any employees,” Reyes wrote in the letter to the EDD. “We have temporarily furloughed employees.”

Santa Cruz Seaside indicated in a letter to employees that the shelter-in-place and business shutdown orders have created a certain amount of uncertainty for the company.

The company will re-evaluate the measures it has taken to ensure we are able to take care of our valuable team members while protecting the long-term sustainability of the company,” Santa Cruz Seaside wrote in a letter to its workers. “We expect your furlough to be temporary. We do not know the expected date when your furlough will be concluded due to COVID-19.”

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Author: George Avalos

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