Shaw cutting staff in rework of operations

CALGARY — Shaw Communications (TSX:SJR.B) plans to lay off some 400 employees, or almost three per cent of its workforce, in a move to consolidate operations.

CALGARY — Shaw Communications (TSX:SJR.B) 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 Monday that the changes will be focused on rearranging the structure of its cable, satellite, Internet and home phone services to make them more efficient.

The reworked operations will be divided into two units — one which delivers Shaw services to residential consumers and another which handles business customers.

“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 in a release.

“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 will also hire more than 100 employees in areas of its business that are growing. The new jobs will cover positions such as the supply chain, marketing and its networks infrastructure, the company said.

Customer-facing jobs like call centres and installation services will be unaffected by the layoffs, spokesman Chethan Lakshman said in a phone interview.

He declined to outline how the cuts would specifically affect each division of the company.

Also affected by the changes are some jobs at Shaw Media, a division that operates the Global television networks and specialty channels like HGTV and the Food Network Canada.

“There were some role changes and there were some people (there) who were affected as well by layoffs,” Lakshman said, without providing any numbers.

Shaw Communications has about 14,500 employees across its operations and delivers services to about 3.2 million customers in Canada.

Last week, Shaw reported 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.

Revenue edged up two per cent to $1.27 billion, helped by better results from its cable and satellite divisions.

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