This week, Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) laid off close to 100 Halifax-based employees, nearly a quarter of the region's staff. While the company made it perfectly clear on June 28 that nearly 5,000 jobs would soon be lost, what's interesting here are the hurt feelings surrounding these specific dismissals.
An anonymous woman who was one of those released from her position in Halifax has called the firing process "inhumane." In an interview with The Chronicle Herald, she noted that a number of employees received an e-mail one evening informing them that they had to attend a meeting the following morning.
She described a scene where groups of employees were brought together into a meeting room together and dismissed during teleconference with a Waterloo-based RIM executive. As soon as the news was broken to staffers, they were ushered out of the facility and unable to ask any questions regarding their severance packages. Subsequently, she was told that if she had any questions regarding her outgoing compensation, she'd have to ask them via e-mail.
While the way in which these individuals were removed isn't anything new to the big business landscape, this ousted employee feels hurt that she and her fellow employees were essentially executed on the spot in a "disrespectful" manner.
"It's kind of like leading the lambs to the slaughter," the ex-RIM employee told The Chronicle Herald. "You're brought into a room with other people, some of whom you don't know because they're part of other teams. There is no individual attention, so you don't really feel free to express your concerns and feelings or ask questions.
"I mean no disrespect to the company," she continued, "because they treated me very well for the number of years that I was...but the way they've conducted these layoffs has been incredibly disrespectful."
RIM Spokesperson Krista Seggewiss didn't comment directly about the Halifax job cuts, but instead reaffirmed the company's position that layoffs need to be made in order to reduce its operating expenditure.