Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Telus offers buyouts to trim 300 positions

About 1,200 Telus employees in Alberta and British Columbia have been offered buyout packages in the last 48 hours.

The company hopes to eliminate 300 positions through voluntary buyouts, as part of a wider plan to cut 1,500 total jobs this year because of the slow economy and declining revenue in its traditional phone business, said spokesman Shawn Hall.

Hall said some of the positions being eliminated will be moved overseas.

"We are moving a very small — moderate — amount of work overseas to help us get more efficient and remain competitive in areas of our company where we're seeing more competition and where we're seeing decline," he told CBC News on Friday.

"But it's not a zero-sum game. We're increasing in Canada at the same time as we're increasing overseas."

Cindy Orivolo of the Telecommunications Workers Union said moving jobs overseas will hurt local economies.

"Telus makes its profits in Canada and won't keep the jobs here. They don't support the communities that the people work and live in, and it's just going to be sort of a spiralling effect on the economy here," she said.

"They're paying people to go away and some of the work is going overseas."

Telus employs about 29,000 people across Canada.