GTA Goodwill stores closed until further notice

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 09:30 GMT, Jan 19, 2016 |

Goodwill is in the midst of a “very challenging time,” forcing the closure of 16 stores, 10 donation centres and two offices in southern Ontario over a “cash flow crisis,” a Goodwill executive says.

The outlets in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Newmarket, Barrie, Orillia and Brockville will remain shuttered “until further notice,” Keiko Nakamura, CEO of Goodwill Industries of Toronto, Eastern, Central and Northern Ontario, told reporters Monday.

About 450 unionized employees are affected by the closures. Dozens arrived for work Sunday, only to find they were locked out with no explanation.

 In a statement, the union said it is appealing to government and community stakeholders to find funding to reopen the stores immediately, adding it received no advance notice of the closure.

“The 450 workers are now suddenly without jobs, which is devastating on its own. But Goodwill stores also help a lot of low-income people with community programming and affordable shopping,” wrote Artan Milaj, vice-president of the union.