Last week many hundreds of employees were laid off in Waterloo, a smaller town where layoffs have a larger impact, yet there is not one iota of news about it. Zilch. Zippo. I have heard through the grapevine that whole teams were let go. I have heard that some teams were replaced with low-priced contractors. I have heard that the cuts went very, very deep, but I have no idea of overall numbers.
Waterloo is a town of 100,000 where RIM recently employed over 10,000 people. Layoffs affect commercial real estate, residential real estate, the tax base, the health of most local businesses, the economic optimism of the community, and more. In an earlier post (RIM and Waterloo), I quoted someone as saying that every job at RIM creates seven other local jobs. As a city, we need to know numbers. As a community, we need to know what's happening to our neighbours and acquaintances.
RIM is notoriously careful about publicity. There have been persuasive arguments that, for its own good, RIM should be more transparent in this process (Lessons learned from layoffs in Yahoo Finance).
However, RIM seems to be more opaque than ever about the Waterloo layoffs. There is nary a mention of Waterloo layoffs on forums.crackberry.com or bgr.com/tag/blackberry. I talked to some local media who said they are trying to find out what happened but are still in the dark.
If RIM won't step up, then maybe people who know what's going on should consider speaking up. They could call or email The Record, The Chronicle, CTV or 570 News Radio.