Rogers launches voluntary departure program to eliminate ‘overlap’ after Shaw merger

Rogers launches voluntary departure program to eliminate ‘overlap’ after Shaw merger

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TORONTO — Rogers Communications Inc. is offering voluntary departure packages to some employees as it integrates with Shaw Communications Inc. after its $26-billion purchase of the carrier in April.

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In a memo to staff on Tuesday, CEO Tony Staffieri said Rogers has been looking to reduce some overlap in roles since the companies combined.

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The memo said eligible employees can apply to receive a voluntary package through the program. Those include “most corporate and line of business employees” up to the senior director level of the company.

Most employees in customer-facing jobs, such as specialized roles in IT, along with technicians, customer service and technical support agents, are ineligible for a package. Sports and media staff, including on-air talent, producers, directors, writers and media technology operators, also cannot apply.

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“As part of our integration efforts, we’ve been thoughtfully looking to optimize the organizational structure of the combined company and address some overlap in roles,” the memo reads.

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Staffieri said that although duplicate positions are being cut, Rogers continues to hire new employees to support customers.

“We’re a growth company, and we remain committed to creating thousands of jobs over the next few years as we invest in our customers, communities, and country,” he said in the email.

In a statement, Rogers spokeswoman Sarah Schmidt added that since the merger of the two companies, Rogers has hired more than 2,000 employees and “we remain committed to creating thousands of jobs over the next few years as our business continues to grow.”

But Rogers also confirmed “a small percentage” of employees have left the company involuntarily since the Shaw merger. The company did not say how many employees would be affected by either the voluntary departure program nor other cuts.

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Rogers first announced its deal to buy Shaw in March 2021. That year, the carriers said the transaction was expected to create $1 billion in efficiencies per year.

As part of a set of conditions the federal government attached to its approval of the merger, Rogers must create 3,000 new jobs in Western Canada over five years and maintain them for at least 10 years following the deal’s closure.

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Rogers announced Saturday that it finished bringing around 300 Shaw call centre jobs based overseas to Canada as part of its commitment since 2020 for all of its customer service positions to be located within the country.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 4, 2023.

Companies in this story: (TSX:RCI.B)

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