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No layoffs at True North, Ludlow says

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WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Jets will not be laying off any staff while the NHL is in lockout mode, True North Sports and Entertainment president and CEO Jim Ludlow told the Free Press Monday.

"We are not retrenching or retreating or laying off or rolling back any relationships we have with employees," Ludlow said. "We think it's valuable to continue to invest in our employees and our people and our building and our relationships.

"We will go through this as an opportunity to continue to plan, communicate and invest in fan experiences."

On the weekend, when the league locked out the players at the expiration of the 2005 labour deal, the Jets outlined for their partners, sponsors and season-ticket customers their options for refunds or credits when the NHL begins cancelling games.

Ludlow agreed there's some level of anxiety with Jets fans and customers, as there is throughout the NHL, but said the franchise's stability one year after the relocation from Atlanta is not in question because of the lockout.

"We are here for the long haul," Ludlow said. "We will do everything we can to maintain our relationships, or brand development. We are going to continue to invest in the building, go through building upgrades during this period. In any event, we are not retrenching or retracting or recalibrating any of our capital expenditure in our building.

"We will be as ready as we can be when (NHL games ) come back."

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

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