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Bell layoffs| This company laid off hundreds of employees in 10-minute video calls: ‘Beyond shameful, disgusting’



Telecommunications giant Bell laid off more than 400 workers in virtual group meetings, the union representing the employees Unifor said, condemning the move “beyond shameful”. The employees who were fired were informed they were being declared “surplus” in 10-minute video calls, it said as manager read the layoff notice without allowing anyone to ask questions.

Bell Layoffs: Bell earlier announced plans to eliminate 4,800 positions, about 9% of its workforce.
Bell Layoffs: Bell earlier announced plans to eliminate 4,800 positions, about 9% of its workforce.

Unifor’s Quebec director said, “Our members, who have devoted years of service to this telecoms and media giant, are being repaid with pink slips” although the company disputed the statement and said that it had been transparent with union leadership for over five weeks about the layoff process and has met its obligations. Terminated employees also had individual HR meetings to discuss severance packages, the company said.

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Bell earlier announced plans to eliminate 4,800 positions, about 9% of its workforce, in February as the CEO Mirko Bibic called the cuts necessary to “simplify our organization and accelerate our transformation” on an earnings call. But the layoff decision was criticised as the company simultaneously raised its dividend payout to shareholders.

Unifor said, “The truth is Bell picked a number of heads to roll so it could increase its dividend payout without an actual plan on which jobs and which workers would be eliminated so the terminations are cruelly dragged out.”

Bell reported a $2.3 billion profit at the end of 2022, according to Unifor, saying, “Our dedicated, loyal workers, who are predominately women, will have to explain to their families tonight that they are being let go from Bell for no good reason other than making sure that their shareholders and Board of Directors come first when getting paid. It’s absolutely disgusting.”

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