Sony bows employee quake aid

Sony Pictures Entertainment has formed an earthquake relief grant with an initial pool of $ 100,000 for employees impacted by the Northridge earthquake.

SPE and Sony Corp. of America each contributed $ 50,000 to the fund.

SPE estimates that several hundred of its 2,500 West Coast employees were effected by the Jan. 17 quake.

In a letter distributed to employees Wednesday, SPE also said it will arrange to provide interest-free crisis loans up to $ 1,000 for employees in immediate need of cash to deal with earthquake damage.

Commuting strategy

SPE also formed a van pool from the Union Station Metrolink station to the studio lot and has offered $ 60 subsidies for monthly rail passes.

The company is exploring flex-time work schedules in some departments and assisting employees with temporary housing, child care and other needs.

The studio has set up referral services and is considering an onsite structural engineer to consult with employees on damage to their homes.

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