Cable Giant Shaw to Furlough 1,000 Workers Amid Coronavirus Crisis

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The temporary layoffs impact around 10 percent of the company's workforce in western Canada.

Canadian cable giant Shaw Communications on Tuesday said it will temporarily lay off around 1,000 employees, or 10 percent of its workforce.

The Calgary-based media company cited "the extraordinary and unpredictable conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic" for the furloughs set to begin Thursday. The company said it currently has around 10,000 employees and the temporary layoffs will mostly fall in retail and sales divisions heavily impacted by current health safety precautions.

"With our gratitude, we will be providing financial support to affected employees beyond applicable government programs, and we look forward to welcoming them back when business conditions improve," Shaw president Paul McAleese said in a statement.

Beyond its traditional pay TV packages, Shaw has seen usage of its broadband internet and mobile phone offerings expand as Canadians shelter in their homes during the coronavirus crisis.

Added McAleese, "We continue to see increased usage of our network and our customers continue to enjoy strong connectivity through our wireless and broadband services. Our network upgrades over the past few years have put us in a solid position to handle increased traffic."