The first ripples of the stumbling economy hit our community with the first major layoffs. Although not large by national or international standards, it is a rare thing to happen in Lethbridge that any major business decreases in size. Here is the story for today's local news paper: Tough global economic times force layoffs at Sun Life Financial Written by Gerald Gauthier Friday, 23 January 2009 A major Lethbridge employer has trimmed its workforce, blaming the situation on the global recession. Sun Life Financial issued permanent layoff notices earlier this week to a handful of employees at the company’s call centre in the W.T. Hill Business Park. A company official in Toronto declined to say exactly how many people were let go locally but suggested it was fewer than a dozen of the centre’s 300-plus workers. “We’ve taken some action . . . to manage our expenses and identify areas where we’re reducing our costs and improving our efficiencies. The result is a reduction of our global workforce of approximately four per cent,” said company spokesman Steve Kee. “Given these challenging economic times, this is our way of taking some proactive steps to manage our expenses and really try to strengthen this business for the future. “We’re not speaking on specific regional areas because some areas are a little bit more than four per cent and some areas are little bit less,” he said. “There are . . . just over 300 people at the Lethbridge location. The reduction was significantly less than the four per cent global average.” Kee declined to disclose specific numbers, but according to the Sun Life website, the company employs 22,700 people worldwide. A four per cent workforce reduction would mean about 900 job losses globally. Affected local workers were notified of layoffs on Wednesday. “(For) some people, it was effective immediately, some people were given notice,” he said, adding some projects and initiatives have also been put on hold or scaled down. Sun Life’s call centre in Lethbridge caters to the company’s client base in the United States. Since opening in 2005 with 112 staff, it has been a very active recruiter in the local job market. Despite the layoffs, no hiring freeze is in place, Kee said, and other vacancies that arise will be filled.
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Robert May is a Realtor, as well as the broker and owner of Rainbow Realty of Lethbridge Alberta. He is also a licensed mortgage associate and financing expert with Canada First Mortgage of Calgary Alberta. He has been in the real estate industry since 1993 and offers full MLS real estate services to Lethbridge and surrounding area, as well as mortgage financing, refinancing/renewals, preapprovals, and home equity financing to Lethbridge and Southern Alberta. He can be found online at www.LethbridgeLoans.com
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Robert W May is a Real Estate Broker in Lethbridge Alberta, having now been in the industry for over 23 years. . He was also a licensed Lethbridge mortgage broker and financing expert with Canada First Mortgage of Calgary Alberta for the past 10 years. He is an industry leader always willing to help train and educate others in how to improve their business models for financial and personal benefit.