While everyone has been expecting the layoffs to continue at BlackBerry and it's hardly news any more, I felt I have to write this announcement up simply because for me, it hits close to home. As part of their ongoing restructuring efforts, it has been announced that BlackBerry will shut down their Halifax, Nova Scotia operations as of January 10th, 2014. The closure of this location affects over 300 employees mostly trained as customer support representatives.
"We know that our employees in the Halifax area have worked hard on behalf of our company and we are grateful for their commitment and contributions," the company said in a statement given to CTV news. "This is difficult news for them and for the Halifax community. However, these changes are necessary in order to refocus our business to drive the company towards profitability and success in a maturing and more competitive mobile industry."
As part of the closure, about 35 workers will be offered continued employment on a work-from-home basis and BlackBerry will repay the Nova Scotia government $2-million for money borrowed as part of agreement wherein BlackBerry would receive $10 million over five years if it kept at least 400 jobs in Nova Scotia at an average salary of at least $60,000 a year. The Halifax operation officially opened in September 2008 but has been in operation since 2006.