Monday, August 20, 2012

RIM Layoffs in Waterloo? Deafening Silence

If you go to Google News and type RIM layoffs and sort by date, you'll see a whole bunch of articles about the recent layoffs in Halifax: exact number (95), how it was done (employees were called to a meeting and told by video conference), how employees feel about how it was done (some are angry), and more.

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 or 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.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

RIM has given employees minimum severance packages required by employment law and in return asked the employees to sign a release and indemnity form that releases the company from any liability and also prohibits the employees from talking about the company.
This is the reason there is no news about RIM layoffs in waterloo.
They have kept the high paying, good for nothing VPs and directors and laid off hardworking employees.
In all groups, the layoffs were conducted by leaders of the groups and they just cut hardworking people who said no to the unethical behaviour of senior leaders.
I believe the truth about the culture and wrong doings of this company should come out. Canadian employees and specially people in the region are losing their jobs, and employees who were hired in the past few years from sinking ships like Motorola based on their connections are still employed and are getting fat pay checks doing nothing.