Canadian telecommunications company Telus plans to cut 6,000 jobs.
4,000 positions will be trimmed from its main Telus business, while 2,000 will be lost at Telus International. The company said that it would offer early retirement and voluntary departure packages in some cases. According to its last annual report, Telus had 108,500 workers at the end of last year.
The company in May offered buyouts to about 2,000 employees, but said that it was only looking for several hundred to opt in at the time.
"Given the scale of this program, we now expect incremental restructuring investments of up to C$475 million (US$355m) in 2023. The program we are announcing today will yield expected cumulative annual cost savings of more than C$325m (US$243m)," Darren Entwistle, president and CEO, said. "While this will temporarily and modestly dilute our Free Cash Flow in 2023, importantly, it will support strong Free Cash Flow expansion in the years ahead, as well as the progression of our leading, multi-year dividend growth program.”
The CEO added that for the international division, the company "has actioned significant incremental cost efficiency efforts, including staff reductions, to address lower service volumes, and is driving additional automation and generative AI-enabled solutions to further optimize its cost structure and go-to-market sales opportunities."
Telus profits fell 61 percent year-over-year during the second quarter of 2023, which the company blamed on macroeconomic issues and a "highly competitive environment." The telco revised its 2023 outlook following the layoff announcement, predicting full-year operating revenues to grow 9.5-11.5 percent to around C$20 billion (US$15bn), slightly down from the 11-14 percent growth it had last stated.
Donna Hokiro, president of United Steelworkers Local 1944, a union which represents around 6,500 Telus workers across the country, told CBC: "Why do these companies do it? Because they can. We don't have strong enough government regulations against it. We have repeatedly lobbied and we will continue to do so, that companies like Telus and others should not be given lucrative government contracts when there are no strings attached."
She added that the cuts would impact Telus' quality of service.
Rival telco BCE Inc. announced in June that it would cut 1,300 jobs, while Rogers said that it would lay off people it claimed were made redundant by its merger with Shaw in a voluntary departure program.