February 11, 2015 / 10:34 PM / 4 years ago

Canada's Shaw Comms reorganizes service unit; to pay workers to move

The Shaw Communications sign is seen on their office building in Calgary, Alberta May 3, 2010. REUTERS/Todd Korol

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian cable company Shaw Communications Inc said on Wednesday it will shut customer care facilities in its Alberta stronghold while beefing up facilities elsewhere, and offered 1,600 workers C$7,500 ($5,936) each to follow their jobs.

The Calgary-based company said it would close a customer service center in its hometown by next year and another in Edmonton, Alberta, in June. It will also close parts of its Kelowna, British Columbia, facility as well as six stores that are being swallowed by nearby locations.

Workers who choose not to take the money and keep their jobs in new locations will be offered other work where they live or “a generous severance package well in excess of the statutory requirements that recognizes their tenure and contributions to the company,” Shaw said in a statement.

The affected workers are not represented by a union, with organized labor rare in the family-run company outside of the Global media unit it acquired in 2010.

Shaw will expand its operations in Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia, as well as in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and in Montreal.

“It’s a long-term investment in the future of our customer service model,” Chethan Lakshman, Shaw’s vice president for external affairs, said in a phone interview.

The company did not disclose the cost of the moves, which it said are not designed to shed employees, with all positions to be filled locally if those affected leave the company.

($1=$1.26 Canadian)

Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Peter Galloway

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