Shaw cuts 25 employees at Global News in Burnaby
By Brian Morton, Vancouver Sun April 21, 2014
A total of 25 employees with Global News in Burnaby, including 23 in the graphics department, are losing their jobs as part of Shaw Communications’ plan to lay off 400 people in a Canada-wide restructuring program, a union official said Monday.
“It’s really devastating for our members and their families,” said Joie Warnock, western director for Unifor, the union representing the workers.
“We’re very concerned about the good work our members do in terms of the quality. And it remains to be seen if this move to centralizing the graphics is going to work for the type of newscast our members work on.”
Warnock said that the 25 members, including two in the sales department, learned last week that they’d be losing their jobs. A total of 55 Global News employees are losing their jobs across Canada, mostly in B.C. and Alberta.
According to the union, all graphics functions in the west are being transferred to Toronto, where construction has begun on a new centralized graphics department.
Unifor said that there were also significant job losses at Global Lethbridge to make way for a new production model for small market stations.
Shaw Communications, the parent company of Global News, announced earlier this month that it plans to lay off some 400 employees, or almost three per cent of its workforce, in a move to consolidate operations.
The Calgary-based company said the changes will be focused on rearranging the structure of its cable, satellite, Internet and home phone services to make them more efficient.
“The roles and structure we established years ago to support us as a cable company can no longer support our growth,” chief executive Brad Shaw said at the time of the announcement. “We are eliminating duplication of work and organizing our activities and operations in a way that best meets the needs of our customers and viewers.”
Shaw said it will also hire more than 100 employees in areas of its business that are growing.
But Warnock said there are no guarantees B.C.’s graphics employees can get jobs in Toronto when they’re finished at Global BC in late July.
“They have some rights in the collective agreement around bumping and there will be a number of jobs posted for this new graphics department in Toronto. Whether our members apply for these jobs, I can’t say. They’re different collective agreements, so they don’t have the same rights to transfer over or bump.”
Warnock said some of the impacted employees have been with Global in Burnaby for more than 30 years. “There’s lots of long-service employees.”
Shaw, which has about 14,500 employees across its operations in Canada, reported this month that profits improved to $222 million in the second quarter, helped by the sale of its stake in French-language cable channels Historia and Series+ to Corus Entertainment.
Warnock also noted that the company handed out bonuses last year topping $30 million to its top five executives.
“I just think there’s something wrong if a company can hand over $30 million in bonuses and can’t keep good jobs in our community.”
A Global spokesperson could not be reached for comment on Monday.firstname.lastname@example.org
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