updated 07:15 pm EDT, Mon July 28, 2008
Bell Canada cuts 2500
Feeling the pressure from aggressive competition, closeBell Canada is cutting 15 percent of its management workforce. Bell says it's cutting 2,500 non-union workers. Canada's largest telecommunications company is cutting its management hierarchy from 11 layers to a maximum of eight. The company is slimming down as part of a $52 billion dollar privatization plan funded by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and several US partners, according to the Canadian Press. Bell missed out on a chance to sell the iPhone, because it operates a CDMA wireless network which does not support Apple's mobile device. It also faces a new competitor in the wireless marketplace.
The Canadian Government announced last week that Globallive, won an auction for 2GHz wireless spectrum, paying $442 million. Globalive will join Bell, Rogers and Telus in the Canadian wireless market -- and perhaps provide relief for customers who have complained of high prices compared to US providers. Rogers is Canada's exclusive iPhone carrier, but the launch has been less than trouble free, with activation problems and complaints about pricing.
The layoffs, combined with earlier cuts in executive-level jobs, amount to 6 percent of Bell Canada's total workforce, saving about $300 million a year. That money, along with $900 million saved by cutting dividends will help reduce debt and fund upcoming investments as the company moves forward with its privatization plan. The Canadian Press says the cuts were a bit larger than expected, and that another 500 to 1000 jobs are likely to be cut as the plan proceeds.