Shaw announces mass voluntary buyout program to 6500 employees

TORONTO — Shaw Communications Inc. has launched a voluntary buyout program aimed at 6,500 employees, including those at Freedom Mobile, as part of efforts to use more technology to manage the company’s operations.The Calgary-based company — which owns Canada’s second-largest cable TV operation and the country’s fourth-largest mobile phone service — has sent notices to the targeted staff and expects about 10 per cent to take the offer.The voluntary program will be open until Feb. 14. Details of the severance offers weren’t announced.‘It feels like a new business’: Shaw underestimated iPhone impact on Freedom Mobile, hints at major growthShaw Communications reports $114 million profit, adds 34,000 wireless subscribersWill Freedom Mobile shake up the wireless market? We’re about to find outShaw said its job cuts are part of a multi-year initiative that will help it succeed amid technological changes — both internally at the operational level and externally in a rapidly changing and intensely competitive marketplace.Among other updates, Shaw plans to make more use of online and smartphone apps to provide customer service, and provide more self-installed services, the company said Tuesday.“Our agents in contact centres and our technicians will still be able to deal with more complex questions and situations, but we are committed to listening better to our customers and changing our operating model to better suit their preferences for service when they want and how they want it,” Shaw president Jay Mehr said in a statement.“We know our future success will require us to become a leaner, more integrated, and more agile workforce, which will result in many internal changes taking place as we move towards becoming a digital-by-default organization.”During the company’s most recent quarterly conference call with analysts, Mehr told analysts that the arrival of Apple products for the first time at Freedom — which has been updating its network to handle the iPhone — has transformed Shaw’s wireless business.“It does feel like a new business, starting in December,” Mehr said on Jan. 11.Shaw bought Freedom Mobile in 2016, transforming Shaw into the country’s fourth-largest wireless company, and recently told employees of plans to close a unionized call centre in Windsor, Ont., resulting in the loss of about 130 jobs.Since 2016, Shaw has concentrated on telecommunications. It sold the Global television network and some specialty TV channels to Corus Communications in return for cash and shares.While Shaw now owns a 38 per cent stake in Toronto-based Corus, they remain separate publicly-traded companies — both controlled by the founding Shaw family through its class A shares. read more

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