Buccaneers sending employees on vacation next week

Memorial Day Weekend just became Memorial Day Week for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The team has used the ongoing NFL lockout as an excuse to send out its employees on a four-day vacation, according to the team’s Web site this morning. That means they get nearly a week of unpaid leave, at least for now.

“The Buccaneers remain hopeful that the 2011 season will be played without interruption; presuming this occurs, the plan will essentially provide the team’s entire staff with an extra week of paid vacation,” team spokesman Jonathan Grella said in a statement on the site. “And more importantly, this plan preserves jobs and does not ask employees to work for less or no pay.”

In the event no games are lost, the employees will be paid for the four days of vacation after Memorial Day, a paid holiday. If games are lost, it turns into a furlough. Also, the Bucs announced that if the lockout drags into September, Labor Day Weekend will turn into Labor Day Week. There will be another four days of unpaid vacation for employees then.

But the Bucs adamantly dispute the idea they’re cash-strapped based on the Glazer family’s ownership of Manchester United, the English Premier League soccer giant.</p>

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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