Shaw Communications offering buyouts to 6,500 Shaw and Freedom Mobile employees

Shaw Communications
A Shaw Communications sign at the company's headquarters in Calgary on Jan. 14, 2015. The Canadian Press/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY – Shaw Communications Inc. has launched a voluntary buyout program aimed at 6,500 employees, including those at Freedom Mobile.

The Calgary-based company 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.

Shaw has one of Canada’s biggest cable and internet operations, primarily in western Canada, where it competes head-on with Telus Corp.

READ MORE: Shaw Communications reports $114M first-quarter profit, adds 34,000 wireless subscribers

Shaw president Jay Mehr says the job cuts are part of a multi-year initiative to refocus the company’s operations.

“This is a program that is intended to reduce our workforce while not penalizing employees for our operational transformation. As we reinvent our customer delivery model to be more digital, online, or e-care, we’re very pleased to offer generous packages to our team members throughout the organization who have built this company,” Mehr said.

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It bought Freedom Mobile in 2016, transforming Shaw into the country’s fourth-largest wireless company, and recently announced plans to close a call centre in Windsor, Ont., with the loss of about 130 jobs.

“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,” Mehr said in a statement.

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The cable and telecom company also owns a 38 per cent stake in Corus Entertainment, which bought the Global television network and some specialty TV channels from Shaw in 2016.