January 31, 2018

On January 29th, Shaw employees received a surprising internal memo from the company’s president, Jay Mehr. In the memo, Mehr wrote that Shaw was volunteering to buy out 6,500 employees, or an estimated 46 percent of the company’s current workforce. According to a subsequent press statement, Shaw expects 10 percent of those employees to take the offer, and is giving them until Valentine’s Day to decide. Most long-term employees are used to the company trimming jobs every few years, but this was unprecedented for Shaw. One long-term employee who works for the company in a non-customer facing role and who spoke to MobileSyrup anonymously said the current mood at Shaw is “grim.” After calling fellow employees at other offices, the source notes the mood is lowest in offices in smaller communities, like Nanaimo, British Columbia, where there’s less job opportunity than hubs like Vancouver or Shaw’s HQ in Calgary. “Once these jobs are gone… they do not come back,” said Lee Riggs, national president of the United Steelworkers (USW) Telecommunications Workers Union — which represents some Shaw and Freedom employees — in a phone call with MobileSyrup, adding: “We were blindsided by this information.” Employees weigh options The employee MobileSyrup spoke with added that the company might have more takers for its buyout offer than expected. Their own “conservative estimate,” based on conversations with fellow employees, is 25 percent. Another long-term employee says they’re sure the number of takers will be higher at their location too, unless the company gives employees more information about their future. According to MobileSyrup‘s sources, USW and other Shaw employees on internet forums, Shaw’s offer is six months’ compensation, plus one month per year of service up to 30 months. According to the sources, the payment is a lump sum, delivered after the employee’s last day, which is decided by Shaw and non-negotiable. The general opinion, say the sources, is that it’s better to get a good buyout package than wait for involuntary layoffs. Both are considering taking the package themselves. ‘Business transformation’

Read more at MobileSyrup.comShaw employees say atmosphere is grim following massive buyout offer