Finning to cut jobs across Western Canada

The announcement won’t affect operations in Cranbrook or Kimberley, but there will be a facility closure in Sparwood

  • Nov. 16, 2015 12:00 p.m.

Trevor Crawley

Finning has announced that the company will close 11 locations across western Canada, along with a workforce reduction of 450 people, which was revealed in a quarterly update on Thursday.

The announcement won’t affect operations in Cranbrook or Kimberley, but there will be a facility closure in Sparwood, said Hillary Anaka, communications manager for Finning Canada.

Anaka did not provide specific numbers in terms of how many local jobs would be affected, but noted that Finning will still be active in Sparwood.

“On the Sparwood front, we do plan to exit our existing building in Sparwood by mid-2016,” she said.

“We’re still working through the details, but I can tell you we’re still planning on having a strong presence in the Elk Valley.

“One component of that strong presence are field technicians to support our customers in the area.”

The exiting of 11 facilities in Western Canada is part of a restructuring plan to consolidate operations, Anaka continued.

“In some cases, it’s a closure, in some cases it’s a consolidation of a couple of buildings or relocation,” Anaka said. “It’s important to note though in none of those instances are we actually leaving the community, we’re just changing how we deliver services to our customers in those areas.”

In a second quarter release, the company reduced the workforce by 1,100 people, 24 per cent of which were B.C.-based jobs, Anaka said.

Thursday’s announcement is in addition to a previously stated plan to shut down 16 locations across Western Canada by mid-2016, as the company noted that third quarter revenues are down 16 per cent, mostly driven by a 35 per cent reduction in new equipment sales.

From an overall standpoint, the report also noted that gross profit margins in nearly all aspects of company operations were down due to difficult market conditions, customer focus on cost reductions and a weak Canadian dollar.

“In line with significant steps already taken to adjust to the economic downturn, we took further decisive actions to reduce costs and implement sustainable operational improvements as market conditions weakened in the third quarter,” said Scott Thomson, president and CEO of Finning International.

“These steps include reducing the size of our global workforce by 1,900 people since the beginning of the year and 2,500 people since the start of the downturn in mid-2013. We also continued to restructure our Canadian branch network, effectively reducing our facility footprint by over 20 per cent since the beginning of the year, to optimize the utilization of our assets throughout the cycle.”