Shaw Lays Off 500 Employees

by Jordan Richardson on March 24, 2011

500 employees for Shaw Communications in Western Canada were laid off on Wednesday.

The job losses came as a part of “corporate restructuring,” a catch-all term that essentially refers to moves a company makes to create more profit. In the case of Shaw, the lay-offs came in order to make the company “more efficient.”

The lay-offs were not centred around Shaw Media, Shaw Television or Global News. Instead, Shaw got rid of 140 employees out of Calgary – many of which were management. The company also tossed 50 workers from Edmonton and shut down a call centre in Saskatchewan that employed 50 people. The calls sent to that call centre will now be handled by the larger call centre out of Winnipeg. 60 employees on Vancouver Island were also part of the round of lay-offs and 90 Shaw workers from Vancouver were sent packing, including workers in the warehouse and more managers.

“It’s always difficult because…most of these employees have been with us some time and have made great contributions to our company,” said Shaw president Paul Bissonnette. “And unfortunately, you know, this is never pleasant.”

The cuts came as part of an organizational review from Brad Shaw, the company’s new CEO.

“We’ve always been known to be a lean and mean machine, but with the rapid growth we’ve experienced, we brought on staff,” Mr. Bissonnette said. “As part of the overall review of the organizational structure, and looking at the impact of competition and the traditional margins that we and our shareholders like to enjoy, we had to initiate an organizational review.”

Shaw had already put off its wireless launch, likely due to the competition in the sector. Losses in its core cable customer base have stung as well, leading to “restructuring” moves that we certainly haven’t seen the last of. The gamble the company took with the recent CanWest assets purchase may not pay off as strongly as once thought, too, which leaves Shaw in the awkward position of not understanding the industry they used to dominate.

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Shaw Q3 Profit Up 28% —
August 16, 2012 at 6:26 am

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