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Shaw Communications laying off about 10% of workforce because of COVID-19

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CALGARY — Shaw Communications Inc. says it is temporarily laying off about 10 per cent of its workforce effective Thursday as a result of "unpredictable conditions" created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Calgary-based telecommunications company said most of the affected employees work in retail and sales positions across the company.

Shaw president Paul McAleese says government efforts to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus have resulted in dramatic work stoppages that has led to the "hard decisions" announced Tuesday.

He says the changes are necessary until its business activities resume to more normal levels.

McAleese says Shaw will provide financial support to affected employees beyond applicable government programs.

The company says it is ineligible for any emergency government assistance programs and will top up Employment Insurance payments depending on employee earnings and extend benefits and pension contributions for eligible non-unionized employees during the temporary layoff period.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 14, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:SJR.B)

The Canadian Press