Bell Aliant plans to cut management in Saint John, Halifax
Both communities could lose 50 or more jobs, memo to employees states
Bell Aliant has notified its employees it may be cutting at least 50 management jobs in both Saint John and Halifax and making other management changes in all six provinces in which it operates.
An internal memo from Dan McKeen, Bell Aliant's vice chair and senior vice-president of residential services, informed employees of the looming cuts.
"Right now, we are at the point in our integration process where the Government of Canada requires us to provide notice under the Canada Labour Code of any potential reductions greater than 50 positions in any one community," states the internal memo.
"In our case, our two largest centres, Saint John and Halifax, fall into that category, and we have posted notices in our offices in these two centres."
McKeen stated it is expected there will be changes in all six provinces in which Bell Aliant operates — the four Atlantic provinces along with Ontario and Quebec — although no other community will see 50 or more employees affected.
"At this point, these are projections and no changes have taken place," stated McKeen. "I understand that this is unsettling for employees, but we were required to post this notice at this time in advance of being able to provide more specifics."
In July, parent company BCE announced its plans to privatize Bell Aliant by buying the stake it didn't already own in the regional company for approximately $3.95 billion. That process was completed in November.
Integration of BCE and Bell Aliant is expected to be completed in early February, according to the memo. More details about the possible cuts are expected at that time.
Nancy Tissington, of Uptown Saint John, says there aren't any hard numbers on whether the flow of jobs in the city core is trending up or down.
But the "ripple effects" of such announcements are usually felt in the city pretty quickly.
"One thing that would be more concerning is a corporation picking up and leaving in its entirety," she said.
In February 2014, Bell Aliant announced it would break ground on a $25-million data centre in Saint John, with the province kicking in $5 million.
The new centre, being built in the city's north end, was expected to create 50 jobs in construction and operation.