Employment Law

Suncor cutting 1,500 jobs to ensure ‘ongoing competitiveness’


Less than a year after reducing its contractor workforce by 20 per cent, Suncor Energy is reportedly trimming its headcount even further.

According to CBC News, the oilsands giant is expected to eliminate approximately 1,500 jobs as part of a plan to cut costs by $400-million by the end of 2023.

“Staffing reductions will occur at all levels of the organization and will be based on both performance and business need. As we do this, we will eliminate work, critically looking at what we do, why we do it, how we do it and the value it adds,” CEO Rich Kruger told staff in an email on June 1.

“I assure you that decisions like these, that affect people and their lives, are not easy to make or taken lightly. However, at this time, they are necessary to ensure the ongoing competitiveness of our company.”

In an emailed statement, spokesperson Sneh Seetal told CBC News that Suncor is “always looking for opportunities to drive value and improve performance in our business, cost reduction is one of those opportunities.”

Company documents claim that the oilsands giant had more than 16,500 full- and part-time employees at the end of 2022.

Major layoffs continue

The reduction at Suncor comes amid a flurry of layoffs in 2023.

Several major North American companies, including JPMorgan, Meta, LinkedIn, Hudson’s Bay, Morgan Stanley, and Accenture, are significantly scaling back their staffing levels as they continue to navigate challenging economic conditions.

Shopify employees launch $130M class action following layoffs
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• Layoffs in Canada

Termination agreements for Suncor employees

In Canada, non-unionized employees and senior executives at Suncor are owed full severance pay when they lose their jobs due to downsizing or corporate restructuring.

This includes individuals working full-time, part-time, or hourly in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C.

Severance can be as much as 24 months’ pay, depending on a number of factors.

Severance packages in mass layoffs
Rights to severance for provincially regulated employees
Severance pay in a recession 

WATCH: Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru explains what rights employees have if they are being fired or let go on an episode of the Employment Law Show.

Before you accept any severance offer, have an experienced employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP review it and your employment contract.

We can tell you if what you have been provided is fair and how to get proper compensation if it falls short of what you are actually owed.

If you aren’t given the full amount, which happens often, you have been wrongfully dismissed and are entitled to compensation.

In some cases, employers pressure staff into accepting poor severance packages, such as imposing a deadline for accepting the offer.

Non-unionized employees in Canada have up to two years from the date of their dismissal to pursue a claim for full severance pay.

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