Northwestel sacks workers

Northwestel is laying off almost 30 employees, but it won't say more than that. Citing privacy concerns, the telco's spokesperson, Emily Younker, wouldn't answer any questions about the layoffs.

Northwestel is laying off almost 30 employees, but it won’t say more than that.

Citing privacy concerns, the telco’s spokesperson, Emily Younker, wouldn’t answer any questions about the layoffs.

She referred all questions to a statement that the company issued.

“Northwestel has undertaken several measures to optimize its operations and better position the company for the future,” it states. “This decision was not an easy one, but was necessary in order for Northwestel to be better prepared for the changes in our industry, the competitive landscape and the global economy.”

In total the company is getting rid of 29 employees: 17 union positions and 12 nonunionized ones.

How many of those are in the Yukon, Younker couldn’t say.

The union that represents those workers, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1574, was even more tight-lipped, refusing to answer any questions.

“We have no comment,” said a woman who answered the phone at the union’s office, who then hung up without identifying herself.

A second phone call was met with the same curt response.

Northwestel, a wholly-owned subsidiarity of Bell Canada, employs almost 600 people across the country.

Contact Josh Kerr at

joshk@yukon-news.com