RIM layoffs hit Nova Scotia
RIM is cutting 95 jobs in Halifax, says minister
Nova Scotia Economic Development Minister Percy Paris says Research In Motion is cutting 95 jobs in the province.
However, former employees at RIM's Bedford office have told CBC News as many as 125 people were laid off this week, beginning on Monday.
Paris spoke to reporters Thursday after the weekly meeting of the Nova Scotia cabinet in Halifax.
The troubled BlackBerry maker announced in June that it will shed 5,000 jobs worldwide and would not release its next generation of smartphone until 2013.
About 500 people work for the company at its Bedford offices.
In 2005 the provincial government committed $19 million to help RIM set up shop in Nova Scotia and hire 1200 local employees.
Of that $19 million the province actually spent $14.5 million. To date fewer than 500 people work at RIM.
A spokesperson for RIM told CBC News it's a difficult time for the company.
"We need to be given the space and time to work through this very difficult process."
People who work with RIM don't generally talk to media since they must sign a non-disclosure agreement as a condition of their employment.
Nathan Burke worked with RIM for the past five months. He wasn't laid off this week but has decided it's time to move on.
"Yeah I'm happy with my decision," said Burke.
Burke worked in IT and customer service, the department hit hardest by this week's layoffs.
"What's it like in there these days? Everything's good. I think people are going about their business they know this kinda stuff happens, so they just need to keep on doing what they're doing and make the best of it."
A former employee who didn't want to be named said the number of layoffs in Bedford is closer to 125.
"I hope, like everybody else, that the layoffs will be temporary. What's going on in RIM, I think is known globally. I think RIM has been in the spotlight for some time now."
When asked, RIM would not confirm the number.