Fast Trucking Service has found a way to support the employees that they had to lay off during these challenging times.
The long-time Carnduff-based trucking company, which moves drilling rigs, hauls frac equipment and other oil rig-related equipment, was forced to lay off 250 workers earlier this month due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the price of oil. But they wanted to find a way to support their employees.
President Dennis Day, whose family operates Fast Trucking, said he knew that some employees were going to be in need of help.
“I didn’t know, when there was a million people going on unemployment and half the country’s shut down, when my guys were going to get any money,” said Day.
He thought that if he bought them each a gift card from the co-op, they could get the groceries they need until the government support kicks in.
Day went to the co-op in Carnduff and ran into one of his employees, who was carrying a 10-pound ham and three dozen buns.
“You know what he’s eating the next 10 days, and that’s when I thought I am going to do this.”
He talked to his brother Larry, the rest of his family and his managers, and asked them what they thought of the gift card idea. They agreed it was a great concept.
Day phoned the co-op, asked for $50,000 in gift cards, and wrote a letter to each employee from his family. Each employee was to receive $250 in gift cards, but Day managed to get them even more value.
“I’m a business guy, so I phoned the co-op and said if I buy $50,000 worth of gift cards, what kind of deal are you going to give me? And they said ‘We’ll give you a five per cent discount.’ So I said ‘Don’t give me the five per cent discount, add it on to each employee’s card. So they got $260.”
Day noted that he received more than 120 phone calls, text messages and emails the day after the gift cards were sent out. Other people stopped him in the street to thank him.
The gift cards are good for any co-op location, since Fast Trucking has locations in Estevan and Swift Current, in addition to Carnduff, and they have employees elsewhere.
Approximately 350 people work for the business.
Fast Trucking has been trying to maintain some operations during the pandemic and the oil price crash, but Day said they have had some trucks parked since 2014, when the price of oil went through a significant drop in value.