Dozens of full-time employees were laid off at the Ben Moss Jewelers head office in Winnipeg, as the company prepares to close its 54 locations across the country.

Vera Sime said the job cuts came at a complete surprise to her.

"I wasn't expecting it this soon, it blindsided me, I was in shock,” said Sime, who was ensured her job in accounting would be safe until the end of the year.

Three stores in Winnipeg and one store in Brandon are now selling off inventory as more people like Sime lose their jobs.

"Mostly it was people that have been loyal for so long, how is someone in their sixties supposed to find another job, “ said Sime about the 26 other employees let go by the company last week.

“There is no way they can afford to retire yet.”

According to those former employees, the company cut off their pay on the same day they were given termination letters and did not offer severance packages.

“We were loyal to the company and we were not treated very well, we want what we are entitled to,” said Sime.

She has filed a complaint with the Manitoba Labour Board and said since then a dozen more former Ben Moss employees have followed her lead.

Ben Moss and the Manitoba Labour Board weren't available for comment.