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Shaw cuts 500 staff

I am sorry if this has been posted already, but I see that the Globe and Mail has an article advising that the company is cutting 500 staff from its operation across Canada.

According to Bissonette “We’ve always been known to be a lean and mean machine, but with the rapid growth we’ve experienced, we brought on staff,” ... “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.”

It seems to me that a number of the posts related to the lack of offers to retain customers may be the company's desire to maintain the bottom line. According to the article the company "has seen fierce competition from Vancouver-based wireless giant Telus Corp., which has been rolling out an Internet protocol-based TV (IPTV) product in recent years.

The article also states that this will not affect the CANWEST albatross that has already dragged down one Western Canadian company.

The feeling that many on this forum have intoned regarding the recent direction of Shaw may now be explained. It certainly gives me pause to consider what I want to do about my cable/internet/phone requirements in the next few years. TABYTEL here in Thunder Bay is looking to take a big bite out of Shaw. In recent years Shaw may have dismissed that attack as of minimal consequence, but if they start losing numbers over the next year, they will have serious questions from their shareholders.
 

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Before the Shaw Media acquisition, and not counting Corus, Shaw had about 10,000 employees. Recent acquisitions push that number to over 12,000. It's about a 4% reduction in workforce as a whole.
 

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Ah business. Why is it always to lay off more people when times get testy.
I hope this does not make the shareholders happy as was stated in this article.
But it probably does.
Maybe if they tried to have a better product Telus would not have carved into their market so much.
Also funny that they don't mention how much Shaw has cut into the Telus market with their digital phone? Probably a wash.
Pretty soon they'll do just like Telus, get rid of all their call centers and sublet it out to overseas outfits. Great:(.
 

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If acquisitions have pushed their workforce up by 20%, they probably need to cut staff. It makes sense that many of those positions would be management staff. Other positions that would be at risk are in departments like personnel and accounting, which often become redundant when companies are acquired or merged. As a customer, I would want to see costs cut as well. Companies can either raise prices or cut costs in order to pay a dividend. I also hope Shaw balances the budget for Global TV's operations. I don't want to be subsidizing Global TV with my satellite bill.

Why is it always to lay off more people when times get testy.
That's the easiest place to cut costs. Companies usually get a bit bloated in good economic times due to acquisitions and new projects. When revenues go down, unprofitable projects get axed and redundant personnel are let go.
 

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No one could argue with you ScaryBob, as their first responsibility is to the shareholder. :) Nevertheless that's like focusing on a tree but not its roots. Before any shareholder there's the stakeholder (me, the customer) if the shareholders value is strong its because of the millions of stakeholders, the customers at the base. Customers without whose support the business would not exist.

Any company can cut employees and make itself more profitable in the short-term. I would suggest though for Shaw at this time they are making a fatal mistake. The cbc.ca has posted this same news article on Mar. 23 at 3:00 pm and already there are 357 'comments' not exactly full of kindness and goodwill towards Shaw.

The "easiest" solution as you put it can have unexpected consequences. I guess we'll see.
 

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Keeping minimal layers of management between staff and the top is the way to go! I congratulate them on a smart business move and wish the laid off staff all the best in their search. (been there, done that)
 

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I agree with gzink as well. Middle management is what kills most small, successful companies as they grow. As layers get added, overhead and communications get significantly worse. Pretty soon, employees are working to enact the hidden agendas of middle management rather that the vision of the company owner or founder. Been there, it's like the party game from hell.
 

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I find it hard to feel sorry for Shaw, the corporation, because they are just another one of the big Edmonton head offices that followed the crowd to Calgary. My sympathy's go to those who've lost their jobs in both cities. However to Shaw I say, up your cable with a rubber ADSL line! What was Shaw's retirement pension ?.... something like $16,000 a day !!!

Oh and didn't I read that they paid once and only once for the naming rights on the Edmonton convention centre. Perhaps with some changes to the centre the rights can be resold to a more worthy company or better still, perhaps it can be called the Edmonton Convention Centre.

My two cents worth.
 

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Bigscreenbob~

Telus get rid of all their call centers? Are you sure? I was hired on last June and they've been steadily hiring in my department since due to the demand for optik. We still have our overseas center, but there are a lot more Canadians on the front lines since last year.

I know how it feels to be laid off due to "restructuring". I hope those guys find new jobs shortly.
 

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Let's not turn this thread into a Telus vs. Shaw debate. The question about Telus call centres has been answered and let's keep this on topic. It's about Shaw cutting 500 jobs.

As ScaryBob has pointed out, acquisitions and mergers result in many levels of duplicate services, especially in legal, hr, it, finance, and coporate security departments. There is also a strong argument in favour of rationalizing call centres. This is not a situation of sending the work overseas, but consolidating work in fewer offices.

Lastly, this is not simply a shareholder value issue. It happens in the public sector too. When BC Hydro re-absorbed BC Transmission last year, in most departments the company chose amongst the Hydro and BCTC employees as to who they felt had the most to offer. Many had to compete for their own jobs where services overlapped. Sometimes, it's just about being efficient.
 

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My sympathies to those who were fired.

Interestingly none of the firings were at Global or Shaw Direct, just Shaw. This surprises me since I would thought that with the Wireless initiative, they would be adding staff.

I know its not about profits, for the fiscal year 2010, Shaw reported income of $1.76 billion, up 14% from the previous fiscal year.
 

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This surprises me since I would thought that with the Wireless initiative, they would be adding staff.
I'm sure they are hiring staff for the wireless initiative. Just not middle-management types. :)
 

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I can understand if you don't need a warehouse anymore but I'm certain wireless will need managers and supervisors and I certainly think wireless will need a call center.

While 500 people is a relatively small percentage of the Shaw workforce, its still a lot of people to fire.
 

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They closed the call centre here in Saskatoon laying off 58, so now when we phone in, calls will go to Winnipeg. That will help with wait times I'm sure.
 

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I find it a real shame to hear about Shaw closing local call centres. If the Saskatoon office is closing, I would anticipate that the one in Victoria, where I live, can't be far behind. Perhaps the primary reason that I have stuck with Shaw, as I see other service providers offering things like more HD channels, whole home PVR, etc, is that when I call for support, I have always spoken to someone in Victoria. If that ever goes away, a distinguishing feature is lost and the door will seriously open to a retention case.
 

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I agree that closing local call centers sucks. That's especially true of services like cable where local conditions cause unique local problems. With something like satellite, it's not such a big deal, providing the CSRs are well trained, knowledgeable and familiar with Canadian services.
 

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saskatoon is like a ghost town now, no dispatchers no csr's isr's or tsr's just purely technical staff. Customers always complained about hold times being excessive, it's just going to get worse now. They should change their slogan to "Not quite so people powered"
 

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I guess they have to pay for their Golden Palace on Barlow Trail somehow.
I wonder if they will still have the giant Christmas tree this year ?

I do feel sorry for the laid off staff..:(
 

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Wait times was the first thing that came to mind when I heard they would be sending Saskatoon calls to Winnipeg. I don't usually call Shaw anymore, just chat, but if I had to call i'd probably be on hold forever. I hope Shaw hires more csr's and tsr's here in Winnipeg to make up for the additional calls coming in.

Btw, Shaw is saying they will save $40-50 mil a year with these reductions, sure would be nice if they passed on some savings to us instead of raising our rates. One does have to wonder if they are losing a lot of money will all their new customer deals they offer.
 
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