Husky Energy reportedly lays off dozens in Calgary
Oil and gas giant Husky Energy on Tuesday laid off what some staffers are saying was hundreds of Calgary employees amid continuing doldrums in Canada’s oilpatch.
A number of staffers could be seen leaving the company’s 8th Avenue S.W. office tower to a lineup of waiting taxis, clutching paperwork suggesting they’ve been let go.
A company spokeswoman confirmed the layoffs but wouldn’t say how many employees have been affected.
“Today we did have to say goodbye to some of our colleagues,” Kim Guttormson said in a statement.
“Husky has been taking steps to better align the organization and workforce with our capital plan and strategy.”
She said the move was made to help ensure the company can “achieve its goals.”
“This was about changing the way we approach our business, the way we make decisions and the way we work together to meet our goals,” said Guttormson.
One employee who survived the cuts said hundreds of employees, including dozens of close co-workers, were laid off quickly and escorted outside.
“There were meeting rooms on 40 floors to break the news to people,” said the staffer, who wouldn’t provide a name.
“It was fast, they didn’t mess around and they had extra security . . . the lineups (of those being laid off) were so massive, you couldn’t get a coffee.”
The staffer said the sensation of working for a politically beleaguered industry, particularly after Monday’s federal election, is strong among Husky employees.
Husky shares have plummeted by 80 per cent since a 2008 peak, widely attributed to slumping oil prices, a suspension in dividends and an abortive $2.75-billion hostile takeover of MEG Energy Corp.
In January, the company cited the then-NDP government’s production curtailment to reduce the price differential hurting western Canadian crude for the MEG failure, along with a “continued lack of meaningful progress on Canadian oil export pipeline developments.”
On Thursday, the company will release its third-quarter results.
Late last year, Husky reduced its 2019 spending budget by $300 million in response to those production curtailments and continued low energy prices.
The Kenney government extended the curtailment program through 2020 but has eased the program’s levels.
The latest layoffs follow a wave of recent job losses in the sector that have continued since the collapse of oil prices five years ago.