Media giants face layoffs and cutbacks

Reduced workweeks and retirement incentives alternatives to layoffs
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 07/31/2009

The publishing arm of Rogers Communications is asking employees to cut back hours to prevent layoffs.

The company, which publishes more than 70 titles, including Maclean's and Chatelaine, gave full-time staff the choice to reduce their workweek from five days to four, with a corresponding 20-per-cent drop in pay.

The option is voluntary and would only last for 11 months, said a company spokesperson. Employees have until Jan. 26 to apply for the workweek reduction.

Bell Canada, another communications giant, is offering buyout packages to 1,500 unionized employees who are close to retirement.

The company is only offering the incentive to employees who meet certain criteria and who are eligible to retire in 2009 and 2010, said a company spokesperson.

Other media conglomerates, Sun Media and Canwest, have already announced staff cuts of 600 and 560 respectively (or 10 per cent and five per cent of their respective workforces). The Globe and Mail also announced it would cut 80 to 90 jobs, or about 10 per cent of its workforce.

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